A Moment of Calm – A Meditative Mis-Guide to Loyola Campus

“In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got.” – Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood

Our mis-guide is a random pathway to somewhat hidden or overlooked quiet places and contemplative corners that are scattered around the Loyola campus. This is not a guide to the stillness of demarcated study spaces; in fact, our only aim was to let our bodies intuitively lead us to wander towards/ be attracted to unexpected environments where one happens to find that you can exhale and grab a moment of calm before further letting in the bright light of creativity. Our purpose was to chance upon emotionally stabilizing spaces in the Loyola Campus environment, which we feel are important (or perhaps lacking), if only for a moment, in the implicit whimsy of Guy Debord’s concept of the dérive.

by Tatiana Kalantzis and Lorrie Edmonds

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2 comments

  1. Mis-Guide Review:

    The introduction to Tatiana’s and Lorrie’s Mis-Guide was very informative before I watched the video. It wasn’t repetitive in any way and demonstrated their idea beautifully. Their Mis-Guide was very relevant to our class and other students because especially at school, with all the stress, students definitely want to find spaces where they can be in peace.
    Their use of concept of the “dérive” by Guy Debord was mentioned briefly but they do not go into somewhat detail regarding the specific relationship their concept had with the concept of the “dérive”. Although, it was clear to understand the concept when their video displayed a sense of aimless walking and freelancing around Loyola campus. At the same time, it was nice that they let you figure out the relationship while you were watching the video.
    Their use of sound was relaxing, mostly due to their choice of natural sound rather than ambient music to set the tone of the video.
    The quick cuts and handheld camera somewhat took me away from the calm setting although at the same time it let me connect to the video a little more as a viewer as if it were my own body moving through these spaces. Their movement around the specific spaces are similar to how someone would observe the space if they were physically in there.
    Their use of questions makes you re-think the place they’ve visually constructed for you. Their choice of putting the questions on screen rather than having a voice say them kept the sound ambience clear and calming. These questions also create a certain amount of interaction between the viewer and the creator of the video.
    I would suggest more fantasy-like editing in the saturation of the colors of the video to instill a more dream-like world – perhaps this could have helped to view these spaces as a way for a body to escape stress. I feel that they could have explored more spaces on Concordia, and if not more, than a more variety of spaces.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. By Marie-Hélène Chagnon St-Jean and Maddy Fenton

    It is true most of us rarely develop feelings of calmness in academic spheres and it is something we realize possible when we watch your video. The multiplicity of sensations the university can provide, and possible peacefulness in an environment that calls specifically for pressure and performance, is often underestimated. The changing skies and the detail-oriented shots of natural elements here contradict the habitual images stored in our memory of people rushing to class. Indeed, the dérive schema provides a framework to consider, while the questions brought to the visual components remind the traveller to constantly embrace their intuition.

    The valuable incorporation of a real body in the space permits the viewers to contemplate the environment while experiencing a certain sense of embodied implacement in which they may or may not identify with the on-camera body. The soundscape in your mis-guide is very well constructed. It provides a rich sense of the given environments, and is certainly effective in creating an atmosphere of ‘calm’. It is also appreciated that the format of the video is adapted to people with disabilities, since the technology accounts for the mobility necessary to visit the campus. Although, it raises the question: Can this model of dérive, ‘the aim of letting our ‘bodies intuitively lead us’ as you suggested, be effectively realized when the experience of the participant is confined to what is imposed on them through the reality, which you have constructed? Since you impose a path with your video, it seems to defeat the purpose of allowing the participant to freely decide where they would like to be in the present moment.

    Our suggestion, if there is one to make, would be to add cues for the travelers to actively participate in a similar, parallel dérive. If the videos trigger something for other viewers like it did to us, it would be appreciated to receive cue on how to most effectively disconnect from our pre-inscribed orientation and invite us wander on the campus. It is an interesting proposition that your mis-guide offer. Thank you for sharing.

    A project by Tatiana Kalantzis and Lorrie Edmonds

    Liked by 1 person

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