Vest Pocket Nation Building

I am inordinately fascinated by micronations. The best ones push several of my buttons:  quirky art project, DIY scheme a little beyond the usual home crafting, the search for spaces between borders, and the very human yen to claim territory, all of which are quite close to my heart. Plus inventing one’s own country gives the enterprising nationlet-builder the opportunity to design everything from a flag to sports uniforms, not to mention giving a pretty good excuse to make up a motto.

Above:  The former
micronation of

I think micronations are particularly enticing in the age of internet landgrabs and virtual territories. The idea of a physical space, however tenuous or tiny, anchoring an ideology, an aesthetic system, or even just a  joke is appealing in the age of intangibility. Plus there could be capes. And there definitely needs to be a capitol.

Micronation, a kind of semi-serious travel guide from Lonely Planet, came out while I was in architecture school, so of course I completely missed it, but I’m going to pick up a used copy somewhere or other so I can brush up on my microgeography and micropolitics. Speaking of micropolitics, you can become a lord or lady of Sealand — one of the more highly publicized micronations — for a mere £29.99. A steal! Now you know what to get me for my next birthday.

I don’t actually own any land at the moment, so it would be difficult for me to found a nation, but a girl can dream. And wouldn’t it be brilliant to cross the concept of Gordon Matta-Clark’s “Reality Properties:  Fake Estates” project with the heady internationalism of micronation-building? The Republic of Traffic Island. Surveyor’s Errorland. Minisculanea. The possibilities are fantastic!

I need to get going—I have an entire nation to design. Applications for various ministries will be accepted at the usual address.



This entry was posted on Monday, March 29th, 2010 and is filed under design, miscellany, urbanism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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