In our class Monday we used a walk, inspired by the Situationist derive, to learn more about the relationship between the city and our selves. Through our mapping, we learned that while people build and influence the cityscape around us, the city and her buildings, systems, and green spaces also influences and shapes our lives.
For class everyone was asked to bring 10 sheets of paper, something to write with and tape. Then they were asked to choose answers to the following on a sheet of paper: right or left, pick a number, a color, choose faster or slower, etc.They then received the following worksheet and were asked to write in their answers. Together we exited the Art Building and students individually followed the prompts and used a heightened sense of awareness to track their movements about the city. They mapped that path on their paper, adding sheets as needed, as well as noted what they saw.
Here is the prompt:
Directed Yet-Random Derive
1. Take 10 sheets of paper, tape and these instructions. Exit the Building.
2. Turn to your _________________(right/left). Begin drawing a map of your movement on one of the sheets of paper. Title it if you like.
3. Walk for ___________(number) blocks. Notice everything around you while walking you’re your map write down everything that is (color)______________ in the places that you see it. What else do you notice? Add other details to your map. (Are there any stand out parts of this experience? Was traffic slow in places? Did you pass many coffee shops? How can we understand something about your experience beyond the route?)
4. Now change your pacing, go ___________________ (faster/slower). After __________(# 40 -100) steps write down what you experienced, how did you perceive the space? Remember to keep tracking your movement and drawing it on your map. Add pages when needed.
5. Change your perspective. Do something that will bring you ___________(above or below) street level. Draw the info your new perspective provides.
6. At this point, draw a line to ________________________________(the address you were given). Use a map on your phone to help. Or ask people for directions. Using the shortest path, go to your location. (A straight line is the most direct path). If you encounter a building, go inside (if you are able). If you encounter other obstacles go around but return to your path as soon as you can. Document your movements and the obstacles on your map. Add more paper to your map if you need to and continue drawing.
7. When you arrive at your address notice what is _________________________(above, below) you. Draw this on the map. Count things that you see or notice other ways to group information.
8. Decide where the edges of your space are and measure the space using your body. Add this measurement to your map.
9 Close your eyes and listen to the space. Make a list of everything you hear. Can you place it in the space? Where is it coming from? Record it in some way.
10. See how much you can understand about your site by collecting or mapping out information that you notice. Start with seeing if there is anything physical you can collect, then begin to expand your mapping of the space to the other kinds of information collection (Some suggestions: map the number of smiles, do drawings of people or the ground, use tools you might have like your timer or your recorder on your phone to understand something about the space, chart out the direction people are walking, record the non-natural sounds, or draw any animals in the space, look patterns or make rubbings of textures, show ways that power acts on the site, what percentage of specific color is in the site, etc.) Do several collections and document them on your map as well as any other way that you can record your findings. Add pages to your map as needed.
11. Look at your watch. Return to class, drawing your route as you go on your map. Be in class no earlier and no later than 11:00am. When you arrive put your map and anything else you collected on the wall.