Cyclic & Continuous (2015 )


Cyclic & Continuous is a new permanent outdoor artwork by Ed Carter and Nicholas Kirk, commissioned by Ordnance Survey.

The pavilion-esque form is inspired by the perpetual endeavour involved in the process of ‘capturing change’.

In the world of cartography, much of this endeavour can be distilled down to two concurrent activities – observing gradual alterations in the natural landscape, and mapping more rapid and frequent human interventions. These two processes are represented within the structure, creating a canopy from two sets of OS data, depicting both the topography, and the number of changes seen within the landscape for each part of the country.

The piece casts a shadow representing a ‘sketched’ map of Great Britain, which will shift, break apart, and reconstruct over the course of the day.

The title Cyclic & Continuous is taken from Ordnance Survey’s approaches to implementing revisions, recognising the different rates of change occurring within the landscape.

Sited outside Ordnance Survey’s new headquarters in Southampton, the work was installed in September 2015.