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(Images from the exhibition 'Break of Gauge'. Pic Courtesy: Kopf + Lübben)

Pioneers in cargo train service, New Silk Road Network’s (NSRN) founding member Kopf + Lübben Cargo Services GmbH was contacted by the artist Paul Kolling to help him send GPS devices via railway from China to Europe using the New Silk Road. During the complete journey, GPS data was recorded that, which among other data was used by Mr Kolling to set up a captivating art exhibition. He displayed 320 meters of film, with projectors at five points along the line enlarging the image on film.

The film strip showed the freight train connection from China to Hamburg, or the New Silk Road, which is an integral part of the infrastructure of the Chinese export and European import economy. Paul Kolling has combined satellite and aerial photographs from various databases to create a continuous and straightened railway line. It is a GPS-based survey of the route which is mostly unidentified apart from the significant logistics hubs, transport times, and border crossings.

It took about sixteen days for the train to arrive in Hamburg. It also took sixteen exhibition days until the projections showed the port of Hamburg and the container in which Kolling had placed a GPS transmitter passing the Hamburg-Harburg Station. The exhibition titled ‘Break of Gauge’ explored beyond the analogy of railways and film, both as manifestations of modernity and massively altered perceptions of space and time. The juxtaposition of new digital processes and old technologies in the exhibition space expanded these historical contexts. NSRN congratulates Kopf + Lübben for supporting a unique artistic initiative and contributing to the visualisation of the New Silk Road.

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