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Monday, May 30, 2005

Remapping High Wycombe

Remapping High Wycombe:

When: June 18th 2005, 10.30am to 9pm(ish)
Where: High Wycombe Town Centre. You will be able to interact with the walker and feed him with information about the sites, your own thoughts and stories about the places he passes through and suggest alternative routes.

Statement of Intent
Inspired by the Sitautionist practice of derive, we set out to chart the layers of place that make up High Wycombe as it undergoes a period of transition and redevelopment.

After conducting and initial period of investigation through a series of derives and interventions we intend to stage a grand psychogeographical event during the Summer Solstice.

A Walker will embark on a ritualistic perambulation to link up the significant sites, or Nodules of Energy that surround the town. He will use the town's matrix of ancient footpaths to achieve this circuit. "

Remote guidance, remote storytelling, but also remote exploration. Suggesting routes and telling stories about places is a bit like the podcast museum guides, the DIY audio tours. But it works the other way too: what if I, as the walker, were to go somewhere you haven't been, and told you what I saw? Like a robot sub, or a personal explorer.

Better yet, what if neither guide nor walker knew anything about the place, and gave each other clues based on some sort of rules and descriptions of the landscape?

Psy.Geo.Conflux 2003
Gabby O’Neill, a 34-year-old art director from Los Angeles, walked the streets guided by an automated voice on her cellphone.
A special phone line offered menu options based on subjective perceptions. (‘’If you are moving from one ambient zone to another, press one.’’) The walk was a psychographic revelation, Ms. O’Neill said.
‘’It’s all about how much you’re willing to interact with your surroundings,’’
she told the tour’s creator, Kate Armstrong, afterward.
Ms. Armstrong explained that her phone-guided tour was based on principles explored by the Situationists, a Paris school of philosophers in the 1960’s.
‘’It’s also a Baudelairean thing, almost,’’
said Ms. Armstrong, 31, a conceptual artist from Vancouver.
‘’I don’t know who that is,’
’ Ms. O’Neill said, laughing.
In an unscheduled crossing of paths, hundreds of believers in Falun Dafa meditation, in yellow Mao suits banged drums and cymbals as they marched across Rivington Street during various festival tours.


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