Christian Nolle

London Polygon

2006

When an aircraft traverses any airspace it usually does so by navigating from one waypoint to another.

This project is a document of the waypoints within the Greater London Airspace, defined as an area starting the furthest North and moving clockwise: Stansted to London City, London City to Gatwick, Gatwick to Heathrow, Heathrow to Luton and finally Luton to Stansted.

Each waypoint has no corresponding building, structure or even transmitter on the ground. It only exists as a five character name associated with longitude and latitude coordinates. It is a phantom.

This project attempts at making these points very, very real. Each was visited on bike, pedalling the streets of London. Created as a single edition book, where by flicking through the pages you are essentially navigating through London.

I visited each of the 54 waypoints within the London Polygon by bike, using a GPS to help guide me taped onto my handlebars. At each waypoint (or as close to one as I could physically get), I pointed the camera in the direction of the airport the waypoint related to and took a picture.

The photograph from each waypoint was placed on a page and rotated with north being the top of the page.

The book constitutes a portrait of the invisible network above our heads, projecting the way planes fly onto the ground.