ROAM asks players to let go of control, to intentionally get lost in order to create critical and creative engagement with space. How can digital tools and locative media facilitate interactions with the environment that allow us to record, respond, notate and locate sites for a variety of purposes across disciplines. How might ROAM and its structure function as a tool for researchers, artists, students, and citizen scientists to map meaning across disciplines and media? Locative media and mobile digital tools provide opportunities for experimental cartography and engagement. I argue that a game structure that promotes wandering as a form of artistic methodology and pedagogy creates opportunities for critical and creative engagements with both our built and natural environment.
Looking at walking and mapping in the context of contemporary artists and spatial theory helps us to articulate the ways that getting lost in space, through play, can be valuable to young artists. Artists use walking and mapping to frame and reframe questions pertaining to social, political, aesthetic, and cultural issues related to structures of power that shape our environment. The walking art of contemporary artists Francis Alÿs, Gabriel Orozco and Jorge Macchi, the spatial theories of Henri Lefebvre, Michel de Certeau, and the works of Situationist International provide a framework for analyzing the notion of space and mobility with aesthetic cartography.
Getting lost allows us to see our surrounding with fresh eyes challenges us to connect with the unfamiliar and has the power to transform our perception of our communities, spaces, and ourselves. Using transportation as a metaphor and process, to explore our local environments, opens up possiblities for insight and reflection on our social, cultural, historical and globalizing directionalities. Within a globalized migrant world, it is through the observation of our bodies interacting with the cultural landscape, aesthetic systems and organizations of space that we can investigate the macro scale, spatial production infrastructures in cultural social, historical, ethnic, economic, and personal meaning. From the macro to the micro – our interaction with the built environment exposes the ways in which we are “directed” by space. We build this relationship with our homes. Homemaking is a vehicle to express identity and creativity, while reflecting cultural and social values. Within these layers of production, my artistic interactions and processes try to capture the site specificity of place as well as the specificity of the individual’s experience within a network of spaces.
How can walking be a radical act that reorients our relationship within political, economic and social spaces? How do we reinscribe public space through creative investigations?