When we evaluate the use or importance of spaces at Concordia, it’s usually in a rushed fenzy to find a free desk, an available outlet, or silence to concentrate. By focusing on the different qualities of light available in different areas of Concordia’s downtown campus, we wanted to disrupt traditional ideas of the use of school buildings. Maybe institutional spaces can easily become spaces of meditation, reflection, or accidental art. We encourage students to go through the spaces we’ve found that have interesting light patterns, or whose structures allow for multi-facted interactions with light, whether it’s through layers of glass or reflective surfaces. The mis-guide is accompanied by photo essays, guiding questions, and Vines in an attempt to make it as accessible as possible. Check it out at:
(NOTE: To access the rest of the information for each post, you unfortunately have to hover over the photo and click on the posted date. The read more button doesn’t work and we haven’t figured out a way to fix it!)
– Fiona & Kamelia
Sensory Scrapbook: A (Mis)Guide to the SGW Campus by Cathleen Evans and Danica Pinteric
“There is no fixed physical reality, no single perception of the world, just numerous ways of interpreting world views as dictated by one’s nervous system and the specific environment of our planetary existence”
In our (mis)guide to Concordia University, we attempt to reject and refute these traditional dualistic paradigms—the mind and the body, the map and its user—by curating an embodied sensory experience of our place of study. Inspired by the inventive tactics and theories of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Elizabeth Grosz, and the Situationist International, we have created an interactive “sensory scrapbook” of the Sir George William campus, filled with pages of prompts, considerations, and re-purposed materials urging its user to not only see, but taste, touch, hear, and smell their campus in a different manner.
Aimed at drawing attention to how each embodied sense affects our perception and understanding of environment, our (mis)guide contains instructions for five different activities, each of which isolates one of the senses as a means for understanding conscious experience of public space (keeping in mind that sensory faculties vary between individuals). Ultimately, our sensory scrapbook urges its users to function under the motto of “I do, therefore I am”—identifying not simply as bodily vessels moving through a pre-existing campus, but as embodiments of their own school; sensory beings rejecting a set scholarly and structural roadmap and pioneering their own unique state of being.
We organized the senses by most “external” (vision, hearing) inward to the most personal, and “intimate” senses (smell and taste). The order in which the activities come is as follows:
Location: The EV Building
Activity: Navigate the main floor using only the reflections you see in a provided mirror.
Location: The McConnell Library Building
Activity: Transcribe an overheard conversation, and use your imagination to continue the dialogue with your group.
Location: The John Molson School of Business Building
Activity: Follow instructions to hunt down and catalogue specific textures on the first four floors of the MB.
Location: The Hall Building
Activity: Catalogue, Envision, and draw the smells you encounter on 7th floor of the Hall building.
Location: Le Frigo Vert
Activity: Create character biographies for different tastes that you encounter at Concordia’s not-for-profit food shop.
We must start by acknowledging Janet Cardiff and George Butes Miller and their work “Video Walks” which was the inspiration behind our creative piece.
Our definition is as follows: a video walk is a multisensory tour that holds a particular visual emphasis. For this walk to be successful, a smartphone needs to be used as well as earphones, which are plugged into the medium. The viewer stands at the same location where the footage has been shot. The participant needs to turn on his/her phone, access the video via YouTube and to press play. The 10 minute long footage consists of one single shot which adds a raw and ghostly feel to our footage. The participant is both an engaged listener and viewer and follows the prerecorded footage on the cellular device. This cellular device is held at arms length, comfortably to mimic the present space. As Cardiff and Miller mention “the architecture in the video stays the same as the physical world, but the people and their actions change, so there is a strange disjunction for the viewer about what is real.” This piece requires the participant to interact with his/her senses as well as interact with the space, the architecture and the people in that space. Throughout the walk, the voiceover directs the participant to pay attention to specific elements that make up the space with the engagement of touch, sound, sight and smell. Our goal for this piece is for the viewer to notice their body and how it reacts to the space; we do so by asking the participant to concentrate on the relationship between their body and the space that they are in.
Our imaginative map blends together the “real” physical space and our perceived predisposed footage, blurring the lines between the two realities.
By Lisa Suliteanu and Frédérique Rajotte
“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
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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