Permissive Perambulations

'Continuous iteration' continues:

1831RIOT!Test5 (music) and 1831RIOT!Test5 (general riot noises) were both tested Wed 7 Feb with guinea-pig UWE students studying 'Heritage in Practice' and 'Crime & Protest' (with Rose Osmond-Wallis and Steve Poole in attendance). Thank you to all who came and patiently wandered!

A minimum introduction was given (the download instructions had been sent earlier) and then the students were let loose in Queen Square.

From the observer's (my) POV it was interesting to see how people negotiated a soundscape they could only 'see' with their ears.

For the best part of an hour, no-one ventured onto the grass (this was left to the dogs)

Preferring instead the paths

Latterly, a few did leave the straight and narrow

Tho' Steve had had a prior exposure, so knew to leave the paths (and, in their defence, the grass was a bit muddy in part)

But if left me wondering about 'public permissions': we have strong codes in place for how to behave in, for example, a cinema, or a theatre, or a classical concert, an opera (quite different from what went on a few hundred years ago, mark!); where to go, what we're allowed to do. But for locative media? "Am I allowed to wander in a suspicious manner round a public space being party to something no-one but me can see and hear?"

I looked around at what other people in the square, or moving thru' the square 'had permission' to do.

Well, you're certainly allowed to sit on a bench next to someone you've never met and poke at a small rectangular object which no-one but you can access (this would have been very suspicious behaviour just a few years ago!).

Also to walk and prod your phone at the same time (moving, but not 'quartering the ground' as we were doing - more 'moving purposely through')

And you're allowed to be immersed completely in your own virtual headspace (she's wearing headphones); so that's OK

To summarise: you give yourself permission in accordance with the social compact to sit and not be there, and you give yourself permission to move purposely and not be there. But what about when you are not there at all in a space where everyone else, to some extent, is? Is there a paradigm for this, mama?

The sun dipped and we retired to the Arnolfini cafe (thanks for the drinks, Steve!) to get warm; then to the UWE place over the Arnolfini.

(feedback from that tomorrow on this blog; also feedback from a meeting with Liz Crow, co-creator with me of the original 1831 RIOT!)


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