Thursday, October 4, 2007

Touring the Imaginary

Thanks to our friends over at Leisure Arts, we've been thinking about the creation of fictional states/geographies/borders as a form of tourism that is both potentially escapist and critical. They pointed us to the website of the Republic of Molossia, a small nation-state within the state of Nevada. With it's beginnings in 1977 as a kingdom, it is now a People's Republic with a satellite protectorate in Pennsylvania known as New Antrim, with which there seem to be some conflicts over tobacco production. The RoM even has a virtual tour for us virtual tourists.
There are the travel parodies such as the Jet Lag series of bombastic travel guides to places like San Sombrero and Bongoswana, that try (ineffectively we would argue )to point out Eurocentrism by overdoing stereotypes and misconceptions.
In the realm of more codified art, Yael Kanarek's sprawling narrative World Of Awe comes to mind.
The proposed Nine Nations of North America is also an instance of speculative geography. But if the geographic imaginary just isn't enough, you can stage a psychic secession.
Image of "micro-nation" directional signage from the Republic of Molossia.


Dilettante Ventures said...

Hey - you probably already know about this, but just in case (and maybe some of your readers don't) - Cabinet #18 was devoted to "fictional states" and most of it is available online.

ryan griffis said...

Oh yeah! How could we have forgot about that... Thanks!