Last night was one of the best nights (community meets entertainment) I have ever witnessed.
That’s saying a lot after booking live shows and events for five years.
Shawn Micallef popped down to Windsor for the holidays, but he reprised his role as “Spacing Magazine guy” and conduit to psychogeography know-how on Sunday. Of course, this all was a success because of Shawn and the help and sponsorship (promotionally) from Chris Holt of Scaledown.ca and Andrew Foot of International Metropolis.
We began by getting chart paper taped together (thank Chris, Nancy, and Andrew) and getting it on a wall where the mapping of our psychogeography walk would end up. Shawn set up a Google Earth Map of Windsor on his computer, and we projected it onto the paper. It shot directly across a normal sight line (and busy space) in the back of the bar. Why would we do this? Shawn thought it was a great way to integrate people at the bar into the process, even if they were not actually participating in the walk or the recording of the walk. It was a very smart move. It connected everyone in the building to this event in one way or another.
Then we waited. Were people going to come? Were the 30 people who RSVP’d “Attending” actually going to come?
The answer was a big fat yes.
Of course, they were mostly late, but they were present. And they were into it.
Roughly 40 people, maybe 45, showed up with warm outfits and eager minds.
We then got a short talk from Shawn, on stage, telling the group what psychogeography is/was, and what we were going to do on our walk. We also learned that when we returned from our randomly chosen walks, we would be recording the routes we took and the “points of interest” on a projected map. Each group was to do this upon their return, and conversation would ensue, based on the things they experienced
On the left here, is the map projection of downtown Windsor. My group had all kinds of recording equipment. I used my Moleskine to record the things we saw and the crossroads we were nearest to when we saw/heard/experienced them. I gave my Flip Video recorder to Stephen Hargreaves, and my newly FOUND Zoom H4 audio recorder to a couple of the other member of our small group. Ryan Fields ended up with it…
So when we returned from out 50 minutes, we added as much as we could fit on the map, and we will all be posting more of these images on Flickr and our own personal websites as soon as we do the proper editing.
The Flickr group name was decided to be Windsor Psychogeography. Here’s a LINK.
Needless to say, the results were amazing. So many people, out on the streets with open eyes and keen interests in the state of their city and their downtown core. Personally, I saw all kinds of stuff I never noticed, including the display in front of the Baby House on Pitt Street which showed images of big, well-attended baseball games at Memorial Park in the 60s…which is where I grew up playing baseball to a MUCH smaller crowd.
I also was dragged into a parking garage stairwell, full of new graffiti (seen by very few) and treated to one of the most unique acoustic spaces in the city. it was amazing, and I will share the audio as soon as I edit it down. Another shock…a car of idiots driving with a megaphone, barking at us as they drove by. Nothing says downtown rowdy Windsor like that kind of crap.
But we saw beautiful houses in Downtown West, and apartments, and a Windsor Utilities sub-station that looked amazing, and tons of reflections of the very bright Caesars Windsor sign, and the variant changes in sidewalk design (pavement, brick, cobblestone, etc), and the sound-scapes of the music pouring out of the bus depot…and on and on and on…
As more of these images, videos, and sound bits come into the fore, I will share them with you.
And here is the same projection map without the projection. The only thing showing is the progress (up to that point) of the mapped routes and landmarks of experience. I’m leaving this up at Phog for a little while longer so people can add to it if they think something is “missing”.