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Chris Speed: Developments in Walking through Time

Chris discussed two projects: “Walking through Time” and “Tales of Things” (see notes from February workshop).

“Walking through Time”considered the idea of “dropping the blue dot” in to situate the landscape historically. Chris outlined how by making use of an open source web application, you can share your location and pull up different maps, draping them across present places. He also indicated how he has gained some extra funding to make the work public as an iPhone application, the current most significant public platform.

“Tales of Things”: Chris explained how this project involved taking specific bar codes and replacing them with QR codes. He outlined how the social dimension to such objects allows people to attach tags to an object with sentimental attachment to tell a story (uploaded on the website www.talesofthings.com).

Chris also discussed further projects:

Real Time:Explored the idea that landscapes are about temporality as well as spatiality.

Ghosts:Explored the idea of touch as a mechanism of pulling ghosts out of places; value of artefacts and memory (screened clips from the films The Orphanage, The Sixth Sense and Poltergeist to illustrate his point). Chris suggested that the modern version of “touch” can be related to the iPhone.

Voices:Chris discussed a series of workshops that had taken place at the National Museum of Scotland, the London Festival of Architecture and the Edinburgh Festival. Examined the idea that every object represents a story, and the project was about eliciting this.

Museums without Walls:Chris discussed how this explored the city as a museum, full of ghosts and artefacts of meaning. He suggested that museum websites could be used in a way that if people tag objects and associate them with personal stories, the museum can be extended into the home.

Navigation:Chris finally posed the question, if you tag things, can they have agency? He suggested that objects might begin to have correlations that you might not predict, something that again might be interesting in relation to museums.