Is there creativity in athletics? There are arguments on both sides of the question, but Michael J. Wallace tips the scales toward “Yes, certainly!” The bicyclist maps out routes in his native Baltimore that resemble various scenes, symbols, and characters, then rides the routes, tracking his movement via GPS. The line created on the map from his path becomes the artwork.
Wallace’s work, collected under the title WallyGPX, ranges from simple drawings like the outline of the Loch Ness monster’s famed emerging head, to an intricate depiction of the moon landing. And there are tons of them. Within a couple of years worth of bike rides, Wallace has forged a virtual mountain of map art.
The process here is simple, and its execution just takes strong legs and the ability to follow directions. What makes it art is Wallace’s attention to detail. An image created within the constraints of an urban roadmap could look like nothing at all if it isn’t done right, but Wallace’s sense for how to make these depictions recognizable is a true feat.