Mis-Guide – Dirt: The Untoured Story

As per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “dirt” conventionally refers to any sort of “excrement”; however, a more informal use of the word makes reference to any sort of “scandalous or malicious gossip”. In designing my mis-guide, Dirt: The Untoured Story, I made full use of this dual meaning to; (a) disrupt the tactically-planned design of a traditional Concordia University tour which would surely avoid focusing upon any possibly-questionable areas; and (b), to make the participant cognizant of the overwhelmingly acclamatory dominant ideologies associated with a reputable institution like Concordia, further persuading them into reconsidering these associations. Essentially, a normal campus tour would show the institution at its best – mine does just the opposite.

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One comment

  1. Matthew’s video leads us to the most unappealing places found at the downtown campus of Concordia. It is effective, especially to current students that know and experience the school on a daily basis. When given a tour of an institution of some sort, we are always used to a clean-cut, well-organised and spotless building, from a perspective that is parading its artistic elements and architectural niceties. This video is realistic in comparison, like an inside view of something pretty and misleading from which the ugly truth has accidentally been published. In a way, this mis-guide is a form of détournement, in which the audience is taken away from the traditional view of academic institutions and brought over a new perspective, that of the often unseen dirt, which is yet an integral part to a space, to this specific environment.

    We also thought the use of coordinates, which differentiated each stage of the mis-guide, was interesting. Although we are unsure of its effectiveness and its particular meaning, it brings a sense of mystery concerning each step of the tour; usually, we have a more concrete knowledge of the emplacement of the visited buildings. Furthermore, this makes us wonder why one depiction would be more or less concrete over the other one: why coordinates would not be more concrete than streets, maps, or buildings names? If Matthew’s choice is debatable, it still makes us wonder about this sense of concreteness; coordinates can be as, if not more, precise in locating sites.

    Joelle Cytrynbaum & Béatrice Viens Côté


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