The Glitch and the Horn. Noise on the edges

Errors can occur when navigating with a GPS device. For instance, they happen when radio signals are delayed as they pass the ionosphere making difficult to determine the distance of the satellites. Other common errors occur when the GPS receiver is near a large object or inside a closed structure. When this happens, the radio signal bounces giving the receiver the impression that a satellite is further away than it actually is. Visualized on the screen of the receiver (digital map) the location of the user appears to be moving farther away. Such sudden jump to a farther place on the map, is recorded on the GPS file, creating a disruption on the GPS trace and giving it a glitch-like quality. The visualization of the trace on the map would show straight lines surrounding the areas of the GPS trace where the error occurred and, depending of the duration of the disruption of the radio signal, those lines could create complex pointy shapes.

During the performance of RHINOCERVS IMPETVS walk + GPS drawing I generated a glitch when I entered the building of the Universidad de Cartagena, and walked through the open patio of the first floor. It was precisely at this moment when the GPS error appeared as the radio signal bounced with the structure of the building, a former convent from the Augustinian monks that was built in the 16th century. The glitch destroyed the continuity of the GPS trace for few seconds, and, unpredictably, originated two straight sharp lines that would configure the contours of a rhinoceros horn.


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