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The Biggest Drawing In The World
May 23, 2008 12:47 PM   Subscribe

The Biggest Drawing In The World.
posted by Armitage Shanks (82 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, that's brilliant.
posted by phrontist at 12:49 PM on May 23, 2008


If that's even remotely not-faked, it's wonderful.
posted by gurple at 12:50 PM on May 23, 2008


Whoa.
posted by tristeza at 12:52 PM on May 23, 2008


The outline of his hair is interesting... I've seen traces of ships (sailboats) that make that kind of shape, but I thought freighters would be more direct.
posted by phrontist at 12:53 PM on May 23, 2008


That's what I thought, gurple. Scroll down and it becomes seemingly more legit.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 12:55 PM on May 23, 2008


Jeez. I bet the urge to just draw a giant penis was hard to resist.

(I kid. That's insane if it's real... I'm not even sure I could draw that with my hand.)
posted by rooftop secrets at 12:56 PM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


That is really cool, though I wonder how much DHL is enjoying this free publicity.
posted by Mach5 at 12:57 PM on May 23, 2008


I wonder how the drawing changes if it is plotted onto a different map projection.
posted by gyusan at 12:57 PM on May 23, 2008 [4 favorites]


Fascinating. Corroboration from DHL is a requisite.
posted by mwhybark at 12:58 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Good god, we've been trying to get DHL to send us electronic copies of our shipment charges for the past two months and they can't get it right - what the hell did this cost him?
posted by odinsdream at 1:00 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, so is this a viral ad campaign by DHL? Even if so, this is very cool.
posted by rooftop secrets at 1:03 PM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


is this a viral ad campaign by DHL?

That was certainly my first guess. It smells way viral. But it's still interesting.
posted by dersins at 1:05 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Eh. I think it's cool, but i have to nitpick at him saying it's a drawing, since it isn't.
posted by cashman at 1:09 PM on May 23, 2008


"This was his end of school project at Beckmans...His project page from the graduating advertising & design class explains:
'The best advertising is developed with society. using a GPs and the express shipping company DhL, i drew a self-portrait on our planet. i used the technological aids of our time to make the world’s biggest drawing, along with advertising adapted to the contemporary era. a campaign the recipient wants to see and which is interesting enough for people to want to share it with their friends.'" *
posted by ericb at 1:12 PM on May 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


That's nothing, I'm shining a laser pointer at Saturn.

and a little bit is landing on Uranus
posted by Mapes at 1:16 PM on May 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


From his statement I assume DHL underwrote the project as they recognized they'd benefit from the inherent "viral" advertising that would result from the undertaking.
posted by ericb at 1:16 PM on May 23, 2008


...

......

...COOL

How do some people think of stuff like this to do with their time? Are they raised differently? What?
posted by jinjo at 1:17 PM on May 23, 2008


Apparently, DHL just runs loop-de-loops in the Atlantic Ocean.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:18 PM on May 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


DHL can't even navigate through the security door in my apartment building. I have an incredibly hard time believing they did the navigation needed to accomplish this.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:19 PM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Looks like he got a lot of cooperation from DHL, in the video. To snark, I would say that what he really discovered, at long last, is the only way to make sure your DHL package actually gets where you tried to send it.
posted by rusty at 1:20 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


So lets see what it looks like actually projected onto a sphere...
posted by rlk at 1:20 PM on May 23, 2008


He looks a little bit like Jesus.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:21 PM on May 23, 2008


Actually, this is a viral campaign for the new Indiana Jones movie
posted by jpdoane at 1:24 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


So I see a few possibilities
  1. Straight up fake from an advertising student, with or without DHL collusion.
  2. Viral cahoots with DHL to send this package to all these arbitrary locations, and it actually went.
  3. Viral cahoots with DHL to send this package to all these arbitrary locations, but DHL actually just sat it in an office and faked the trip.
  4. Guy has enough money to pay DHL for their hypothetical "send planes/boats to arbitrary locations in the Arctic Ocean" service.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:25 PM on May 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


How does his GPS unit get a read on the satellites it needs to track its movement from within a briefcase (metal) that is within a truck, or a boat, or what-ever? I'm thinking "faked."

And yet I'd like to be wrong about this
posted by mmahaffie at 1:25 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Uh, so the proposition here is that DHL will fly big pointless loops over the ocean for you if you give them arbitrary waypoints? 'Cause that's silly; DHL flies 747s on those routes, burning 3500+ gallons of JET1 an hour at let's say $5.50 a gallon, and I'm betting doesn't deviate much from a great circle.
posted by nicwolff at 1:26 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Interesting...those travel instructions to DHL are all lat/long coordinates. Where do I sign up to get that kind of delivery service?
posted by jaimev at 1:26 PM on May 23, 2008


funny, i thought he looked a little like my aunt midge.

that's one helluva carbon footprint for a final project for school. sheesh!

i doubt it's real, too...but if it is -- wow, wasteful much?
posted by CitizenD at 1:27 PM on May 23, 2008


Also -- it's obvious that he travelled along with the case...in the video you see him in the cockpit with a pilot over Russia and at the various ground and water locations. I suspect he's the one who videotaped the journey -- and handed the camera off for those clips involving his appearances. The final frame states: "Thank you DHL for making this possible."
posted by ericb at 1:27 PM on May 23, 2008


How does his GPS unit get a read on the satellites it needs to track its movement from within a briefcase (metal) that is within a truck, or a boat, or what-ever? I'm thinking "faked."

Um, they don't use line-of-sight IR or anything...
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:28 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


they don't use line-of-sight IR or anything...

No, but they also generally don't work well indoors.
posted by mmahaffie at 1:30 PM on May 23, 2008


Considering this guy was not only in the shipping department (which you have to pass through security for) but in the fucking copilot seat (which no one besides the pilot could get past without being shot), I'm gonna guess viral. Blah.
posted by puke & cry at 1:30 PM on May 23, 2008


I guess I'll wait until I get home and can watch the video (at work/firewalls/etc.) before I comment further. There may be info there that I am missing.
posted by mmahaffie at 1:31 PM on May 23, 2008


Considering this guy was not only in the shipping department (which you have to pass through security for) but in the fucking copilot seat (which no one besides the pilot could get past without being shot), I'm gonna guess viral....

Yeah, as it was his final project for his graduate "advertising & design class."
posted by ericb at 1:32 PM on May 23, 2008


No, but they also generally don't work well indoors.

I guess you could get a Faraday Cage effect, but I would assume in the planning stages, the case material would be taken into account to prevent it.

Considering that DHL vehicles are very likely GPS-equipped, I would think that their vehicle designs have taken that into account as well.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:34 PM on May 23, 2008


As well, he (wearing the VISITOR bib) is helping roll the storage units into the plane's belly in Londonderry, Ireland, etc.
posted by ericb at 1:34 PM on May 23, 2008


That is seriously fucking cool.

And I hate DHL with the blinding passion of a thousand white-hot suns, a depth of hatred that is surpassed only by my utter loathing for all things UPS. I fucking hate those bastards.

FedEx is okay, though. They've always been pretty helpful.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:37 PM on May 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


I should note that I'm not arguing that this is likely a viral, but I don't think the question of GPS reception is enough to call it an outright fake.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:37 PM on May 23, 2008


I didn't watch that far, ericb. But still, you'd have to be pretty freaking stupid to think this is anything but viral advertising. And poor, at that.
posted by puke & cry at 1:37 PM on May 23, 2008


*isn't a viral (sigh)
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:37 PM on May 23, 2008


Also, if he really did it, and didn't let people follow along on the Web as the GPS "drew" his picture, then he should have failed his class, amirite?
posted by nicwolff at 1:38 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, the site is borked right now, but I seem to remember that the case was thick grey plastic, not metal.
posted by nightwood at 1:42 PM on May 23, 2008


you'd have to be pretty freaking stupid to think this is anything but viral advertising...

Exactly. BTW -- he never claims it to be anything other than an advertising stunt -- as per his statement (above): "...advertising adapted to the contemporary era...a campaign the recipient wants to see and which is interesting enough for people to want to share it with their friends."
posted by ericb at 1:44 PM on May 23, 2008


DHL sucks, btw.
posted by puke & cry at 1:45 PM on May 23, 2008


Assuming this is real, I would argue it still qualifies as art. Art is art, even if it's sponsered by a major shipping corporation with the intent to increase your want to ship your packages with them.

Is there a real somewhere that states art cannot be used to sell product? All artists are businessmen/businesswomen in their own way. They want you to buy their work so they can survive and continue to persue this means of a living.
posted by dogbusonline at 1:50 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's been done before.
posted by yhbc at 1:52 PM on May 23, 2008


Apparently, DHL just runs loop-de-loops in the Atlantic Ocean.

Exactly. Looking at the hair is what made think this may be fake. Cool, if it's real.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:00 PM on May 23, 2008


Photoshoped.

:)
posted by vertigo25 at 2:02 PM on May 23, 2008


They did all that to draw Cat Stevens?
posted by dov3 at 2:13 PM on May 23, 2008


...but I seem to remember that the case was thick grey plastic, not metal.

You're right. The case is plastic.
posted by ericb at 2:13 PM on May 23, 2008


I don't think it's fake so much as there's been some fantastic artistic license taken with all these random loop-de-loops that could not have possibly been flown.
posted by loiseau at 2:15 PM on May 23, 2008


Apparently, DHL just runs loop-de-loops in the Atlantic Ocean.

Apparently my laptop repair shipment was another art project.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:21 PM on May 23, 2008 [10 favorites]


DHL : "We have no fucking idea what the shortest distance between two points are."

DHL : When you package absolutely has to fly in circles over the North Atlantic.
posted by Dave Faris at 2:26 PM on May 23, 2008 [7 favorites]


He looks a little bit like Jesus.
...
DHL flies 747s on those routes, burning 3500+ gallons of JET1 an hour at let's say $5.50 a gallon, and I'm betting doesn't deviate much from a great circle.

Maybe the plane dropped him off and he walked out the hair parts.
posted by Democritus at 2:28 PM on May 23, 2008


a giant penis was hard

Oh was it now?
the joy of selective editing
posted by Peter H at 2:31 PM on May 23, 2008


I guess you could get a Faraday Cage effect, but I would assume in the planning stages, the case material would be taken into account to prevent it.

Case material? Have you ever tried using a GPS in doors? They're not like Cellphones or TVs they're satellite signals. The last time I flew I tried to get a read on my GPS receiver, and it didn't work at all. No way would this work packed in a shipping container or whatever.

Anyway, yeah, I'm guessing this is totally fake. Even if you could get DHL to deliver to all these locations, I doubt you could get them to just fly your box around in random loops for anything other then an absurd amount of money. It would be cheaper to build a solar-powered drone airplane or something.
posted by delmoi at 2:56 PM on May 23, 2008


The last interaction I had with DHL was when a delivery van rear ended my parents' car with me in the backseat. Good times.
posted by Atreides at 3:19 PM on May 23, 2008


Very cool.

Actually, this is a viral campaign for the new Indiana Jones movie

It'd be awesome if some shipping company were to replace the package tracking feature on their website with a montage of old cargo planes flying, superimposed with an animation of a red line on a map.
posted by brundlefly at 3:23 PM on May 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


Tons and tons of burned fuel. All for nothing! I really hope it is fake
posted by bargainhunter at 3:35 PM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


I dare to say that you'd have to be 'drooling on your forehead' stupid to find this even remotely entertaining.
posted by puke & cry at 3:42 PM on May 23, 2008


Um, since when does something being viral automatically make it fake & uninteresting? Of course it's meant to be viral- how else would he convince DHL to help him with this project? And it looks to me like he's sitting in the passenger seat of a prop plane- something dinky- not a jumbo jet. It seems to me he wanted to do some grandiose art project, and DHL wanted to cash in on what those dern kids call the "inturweb".
posted by self at 4:00 PM on May 23, 2008


(wipes up puddle of drool on computer keys)
posted by nax at 4:01 PM on May 23, 2008


I think it is fake because the points on the far end of the map don't match up.
posted by ouchitburns at 4:26 PM on May 23, 2008


Um, since when does something being viral automatically make it fake & uninteresting?

It's not automatically "fake" (In the sense of "did this container actually visit all these locations?" The degree to which "real art" can or cannot shill and monetize is separate.) but the involvement of a large multinational corporation in an advertising context warrants suspicion. Let's assume DHL and the student in question don't have any moral qualms about lies - a reasonable assumption about DHL and a not-unlikely one about the student. Then, there's basically no reason for DHL to actually incur all these expenses when they can make a much cheaper fake with a few shots of him sitting in a prop plane and so on (admittedly I can't watch the movie myself here.)
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:27 PM on May 23, 2008


Blah, the fake-sayers are totally baseless. Sure, when *they* turn on their GPS indoors, it doesn't get much reception. Keep in mind that basic consumer GPS uses receivers about the size of a quarter (or smaller, my blackberry's is about the size of a nickel). Commercial receivers are MUCH more powerful and can pick up 10x more satellite signal. And anyone that's going to go through the trouble of paying for all of that travel will surely buy something better than your $200 Garmin. (Whether he paid for it or DHL did)
posted by hatsix at 4:30 PM on May 23, 2008


And it looks to me like he's sitting in the passenger seat of a prop plane- something dinky- not a jumbo jet.

How can you tell?
posted by ericb at 5:58 PM on May 23, 2008


I'm still not convinced. I am entertained, though.
posted by mmahaffie at 6:14 PM on May 23, 2008


^ ericb: "And it looks to me like he's sitting in the passenger seat of a prop plane- something dinky- not a jumbo jet.

How can you tell?
"

The shot of the instrument panel at 1:34. DHL mostly uses Boeing 757's for their large cargo jets, who's cockpits look like this. Their smaller cargo aircraft are generally Cessna's, who have a fairly large instrument panel, as well. The panel shot at 1:34 looks even dinkier.

He was also dangerously close to Baghdad.
posted by self at 6:21 PM on May 23, 2008


This raises the same question that the Nazca lines do: not how, but why?
posted by signal at 7:17 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just want to pipe in that DHL is absolutely horrid in the states, I'm talking about what looks like 14 year olds in untucked yellow shirts with no DHL logo showing up at my office claiming to be DHL to pick up a package. I've had this happen in different cities, too. I guess their margins are so thin that they literally hire teenagers to courie their packages. Not that I want them to get off my lawn, but they're always either 1) late, 2) confused, 3) 14 years old. Top 3 things I don't look for in a parcel delivery company.

That being said, my understanding has always been that the reason why they suck so bad is because of Airbone Express's operations, which essentially was what DHL bought and relabeled in '03 to become the third US shipping company. In Europe I hear DHL is quite competent... Anyhoo, back to the post..
posted by cavalier at 8:10 PM on May 23, 2008


What cavalier said. DHL is brutally bad in the USA (and Canada, and Mexico), but seems to work in Europe somehow. I've had packages take a route pretty much like that drawing, visiting 10 or 12 different cities, before ultimately being returned to me as "undeliverable".
posted by rokusan at 11:58 PM on May 23, 2008


Also: I want to get through airport security, just once, with a suitcase that looks like that.
posted by rokusan at 11:58 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you blow up the map by clicking on it, the scrolling line of the drawing becomes a series of straight line segments. The end points of those segments match the coordinates in the "instructions to DHL" chart/poster, which can be blown up as a PDF via the link below it. So, if this is to be believed, DHL followed instructions to make a long series of pointless flights (refuelling in mid-air?) all over the world. Not to be believed, clearly.

By the way, DHL, FedEx and the rest don't ship stuff point to point like this. It all goes through hubs. I don't know where DHL's hubs are, but anything you ship by FedEx in the US flies to Memphis overnight, gets sorted, and flies out to the destination airport. So a series of multiple shipments would result in a starburst-shaped drawing, not a portrait.
posted by beagle at 6:23 AM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


it's a drawing that may or may not have been 'done' by plane and satellite that looks exactly like a drawing done by hand, am i missing anything here? we could superimpose this onto anything, the atlantic ocean, a pair of breasts, the sahara desert, attach the GPS device to fish, roving hands, a camel, send targetted instructions, bait, whatever and the only thing that would change would be our elasticity of incredulity. in short the art on display here is the art of credibility.
posted by doobiedoo at 7:56 AM on May 24, 2008


So a series of multiple shipments would result in a starburst-shaped drawing, not a portrait.

This was one thing I noticed when I was looking over the picture. The drawing would have to have been planned from the hubs. Beyond that you would have to have it specifically re-shipped from specific points, maybe post offices. But this would entail a hell of a lot more planning than a list of some cities and latitudes and longitudes.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:31 AM on May 24, 2008


Not to mention time. If this is some dude's senior project, he had to have conceived it in, oh, 1969.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:59 PM on May 24, 2008


Dear LORD his briefcase looks like a bomb.
posted by tehloki at 11:47 PM on May 26, 2008


Fake
posted by fixedgear at 4:26 PM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fakey fakey faker.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:44 PM on May 27, 2008


What a dick.
posted by loiseau at 8:59 PM on May 27, 2008


If you scroll down to the bottom of the guy's page... "This is fictional work. DHL did not transport the GPS at any time."

Sounds to me like DHL's lawyers to a bite out of this guy's scrotum.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:07 PM on May 27, 2008


He just added that in response to the outing, Dave Faris.
posted by loiseau at 9:10 PM on May 27, 2008


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