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Sputnik: The Odyssey of the Soyuz II

Joan Fontcuberta's 1997 Sputnik project is a classic of fictive art. Sputnik details the life and exploits of a little-known Russian cosmonaut named Ivan Istochnikov whose mysterious disappearance during the flight of the Soyuz 2 spaceship in 1968 was followed by an extensive cover-up on the part of the Soviet bureaucracy.


The Kingdom of Talossa is a micronation originated by Robert Ben Madison in 1979 (as a child) and subsequently developed in great detail by Madison and other Talossan citizens. Talossa considers itself an independent sovereign nation occupying part of the western shore of Lake Michigan and also claiming the island of Cezembre off the coast of Brittany, France, as well as the "Pengöpäts" Antarctic Territory.

Tate, Nat (William Boyd and others)

In 1998 writer  William Boyd published a book entitled Nat Tate - An American Artist 1928-1960 that was the biography of a fictional American artist.  The book takes the form of a traditional artist's monograph, with illustrations including photographs of Tate's work and documents from his life. The fiction is supported by statements attributed to various celebrities such as Hans Hofmann and Gore Vidal (who was an active collaborator on the project).

Thomann, Georg Paul (monochrom)

Georg Paul Thomann (1945-2005) is a fictitious 20th century artist created by the Austrian art group monochrom, founded by artist  Johannes Grenzfurthner. In their words, "Georg Paul Thomann does not exist, at least not as a physical entity. He is an art avatar and impure fiction."1

  1. From Grenszfurthner,  "A Short History."
Tlön Uqbar Orbis Tertius

"Tlön Uqbar Orbis Tertius" is the title of a short story by the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges that revolves around a rare (possibly unique) edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica containing an entry on an otherwise unknown country called Uqbar. As the story unfolds, it appears that Uqbar is part of a conspiracy of thinkers to create an entire new world, Tlön, by imagining it in all its details.

U.S. Dept. of Art and Technology

The U.S. Dept. of Art and Technology.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Art and Technology website

Voynich Manuscript

The Voynich Manuscript is an illustrated book of unknown authorship written in a unique script and language, neither of which has yet been deciphered. On almost every page, the text is accompanied by very unusual hand-drawn illustrations ranging from botanical specimens of plants not found on earth to elaborate cosmological diagrams.

Yes Men