Browse Category: Geographical Hardware

Exploratory fieldwork unravelling braintags to secrets of human existence.

Balearic walk 1

Balearic Routes + Routines proposed a group action in the center of Palma on 18 october 2008. Departing from the hectic Plaça Major, we walked with 10 people through the shopping center, scanning electro magnetic fields, sniffing video surveillance and wifi TV, amplifying distorted sounds from the souls of our feet, filming with camera equiped shoe’s, and more nifty out of the ordinary ways of capturing data produced by walking.

Here’s a video capturing some of the highlights of the day. (Ogg/theora, 20 mb)

Here’s another one, with snapshots taken from the rotating mirrors shoe.
(Avi, 700k)

(Video doesn’t play in browser? Install VLC, right-click, save file, open in VLC)

Balearic Routes + Routines takes place in the framwork of the Majorcan media festival PING!, taking place in cultural center Sa Taronja in Andratx.

Scripts for easy deplacements

In the framework of the Open Source Architecture module of the KHLIM Genk Media design course, students followed a workshop around the soon to be redeveloped train station of Hasselt. Loosely based on the work of the delicious Francis Alys, many elegant situationist performances, the exquisite Sophie Calle and lets not forget the delightful Christopher Nolan, I prepared three short exercises.

1: Walking in someone elses footsteps

While walking through the station you are listening to a recording of a walk through a park. (Download here; mp3, 12mb ) The paste of the walk you are hearing is steady and unbroken. Play the sound loud, step into the rhythm, and don’t stop until the file ends. Your paste is influenced several factors: are you walking alone or in a dense crowd? What surface are you walking on, how is the infrastructure, roads, traffic, buildings? What shoes are you wearing … and let’s not forget: your body. The length of your legs, do they match the ones of the original walker, can you keep up with him? what is your physical condition? Fit enough to transpose a walk through the park to a busy railway station?

download ogg/theora movie 4.8 mb
(Video doesn’t play in browser? Install VLC, right-click, save file, open in VLC)

2: Identify with others
Copy behavior of people you meet in the street. Select the people you follow by a feature they have in common. For example: follow only people with red shoes. Of every person you meet wearing red shoes, you imitate, copy, and embody one specific gesture or movement. Be like a sponge, add them up, incorporate them in your walk. Make small loops: repeat the movements, improvise and construct coherent movements out of the collaged gestures, behaviors and moves. Your final character looks nothing like the original people you imitated. You have created a new, extravagant persona, acting extraordinary, and very probably not wearing red shoes.

download ogg/theora movie 5 mb
(Video doesn’t play in browser? Install VLC, right-click, save file, open in VLC)

3 Follow blind
Walk in teams of two. One person is leading the other following with closed eyes. You don’t speak. The person leading guides the follower with th sound of him / her footsteps. In a silent place: step gentle, in a place bursting with sounds: stamp like a madman, kick against dustbins, make a noise. Experiment with speeds, proximity to passers by, smell and disorienting elements.

Walking the web

Can searching the internet be transposed to walking in a city? And vice versa; in what way do subtle navigational choices we make while strawling through a city influence our perception of walking the internet? Automated indexation raises the question if carrying out a walk by yourself is actually worth the trouble.

Sitemaps do not work
Speaking for myself as an artist who likes to walk to collect material, to witness recurring urban phenomana and to get my thoughts organised, the physical act of walking is important, because it delivers a cognitive understanding of an environment which cannot be obtained by any other means. Continue Reading

Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood
“It is about a specific place – New York – and it is about the many different consciousness that thrive and wilt and rage and reminisce here. We publish reportage, personal essays, urban sketches– any piece of writing that might illuminate a corner of life in the city. By and large everything you read on the site is true. The events of 9/11 were the site’s focus for a while, but this is a site about a place, not a disaster, and we’re open to all kinds of topics

The site combines a magazine with a map. It uses the external, familiar landscape of New York City as a way of organizing the wildly internal, often unfamiliar emotional landscapes of the city dweller.”

Walking on algorithms

.walk by
No software but walkware

“No software but walkware. (…) .walk is the name for the pedestrian software that will be used in the construction of a ‘psychogeographical computer’ which will use the city as hardware.
Continue Reading

Walking in a straight line

Nicholas Crane is a writer, geologist and passionate walker.
For the “Walk 21 – Taking walking forward in the 21st Century” conference, organised by CAST – The Centre for Alternative and Sustainable Transport at the Staffordshire University, UK, he delivered a short speech in which he describes a failed attempt to cross the UK by foot walking in a straight line.

“What I wanted to do was draw a random cross-section, a scientific cross-section, and limit my raw material to everything that lay on that straight line. It was rather a tricky operation.” Continue Reading