Four walks

‘Four walks’

Revised 15 July 2008

New idea

This is a matrix of four walks: the seafront promenade, Constitution Hill, Pen Dinas Hill and Penglais Woods. It is presented in a tabular format on a web page, similar to the table below. Each row is a dimension of the experience of the walk. Users can click on any object in the matrix in any sequence to open a range of possible media files documenting that aspect of the walk. Possible items include a short piece of text, a sound clip, video clip, photograph, or small photo gallery.

The user may click on the items in any order, for example, each item for a single walk, or across the rows to experience all of the sounds, etc. The words below are just provided as examples.

  Prom  Consti  Pen Dinas  Penglais 
 what you hear  audio text photo audio 
 what you smell  photo text  video clip  photo gallery 
 who you meet  text  photo …   …
 what you touch  …   …  …    … 
 what you see  …  …    …  …  

To create this piece, take the walks and document with MP3 recorder, camera, video, and notebook. See what connections and contrasts emerge.

Surrealist enhancement

Present the same matrix but with the content randomly generated, so that the media clips appear to be in the wrong boxes. If using this method, the text in the boxes must identify the content, for example ‘seagulls’, ‘joggers’, etc. in order to invoke an experience of dislocation on the part of the user. The user will then have to puzzle out which cell in the matrix is the true location for the item.

Original idea

This exists as ideas jotted down for a poem cycle in the journal written a while ago, but could be transformed into a photo montage or photo essay with audio of background sounds captured wild, no voiceover. For example, Penglais Woods would start with sounds of traffic on the road, footsteps across dried leaves as you enter the woods, eventually taken over by bird sounds as you go deeper in.  Should it have any words at all?  Poetic fragments or just the live sound of being in the place?  The structure needs to be worked out more, but there are resonant points in each walk. Sequence the walks from ‘civilised’ to ‘cultivated’ to ‘wild’. Maybe deliberately use the coarse phone cam rather than high-res photography.  There is still something missing in this one at the moment, requires more thought.  There is an inherent shape to the narrative that I haven’t yet uncovered but sense is there.

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