GPS Beatmap from Jesse Stiles on Vimeo.

“Locative art,” the idea that somehow location will feed into music and visuals, has eluded culture. We have the technology, in the form of sophisticated databases of location information and highly accurate, publicly-available GPS satellites. But it’s one of those solutions in search of a problem, and begs the question, why?

That is, until you unleash a nearly 6-liter V8 Ford LTD Crown Victoria on the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats, and your driving gets translated to music. Now it makes sense. And sweeping through the salty dust in one of America’s greatest action-car-chase cars of all time, manipulating music on a Max/MSP software patch, all becomes right with the world. (That’s how it is in my head, anyway.)

The planet is your control surface.

Such is the project sent by co-creator Jesse Stiles, who worked with Rich Pell (and editor/documentarian Olivia Robinson) under the name Face Removal Services to perform this vehicular musical production. (Thank, as well, The Center for Land Use Interpretation / GPS Expo 2006. PS – I think we now know what to do with all those clunkers Americans are turning in for Cash for Clunkers.)

Now, this covers only X and Y axis. I think we need to add the Z-axis, for base jumpers. (I had a dream last night in which I was hang gliding from the rim of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River below, a reminder that the Earth – and computer interfaces – do not have to be flat.)