An interactive map with embedded digital codes is giving the people of Exeter the chance to engage in some playful activities in city centre streets. Whether accepting the invitation to ‘Be Neighbourly’, ‘Hold Something Dear’ or ‘Street Dance’, participants are using the beautifully designed map to explore the urban environment in new and immersive ways.
Produced by Devon-based art collective Blind Ditch and realised by designer Lee Hodges, This City’s Centre 2: Linger offers a unique opportunity to engage with and see Exeter anew. Participants are directed to perform colour-coded actions in specific locations, which are accompanied by QR codes linked to sound files that reveal what the residents in these locations think and feel about where they live, their particular views and viewpoints.
Cat Radford, co-author of Linger, said: “If you sit at a window in central Exeter and watch the view, you see hundreds of people on their way to work, on their way to the shops, on their way to somewhere or other. They move like a river, flowing onward, never stopping. We created this map as part of This City's Centre to playfully disrupt this flow and to provide a lens through which the familiar becomes new and surprising – not only to create a fun and revealing experience for the people involved in a map walk, but to provide some enjoyment for the public who might happen across them, either on the street or through the windows of their homes.”
Linger is the second part of a digital triptych for Exeter, which comprises 1: Window, a video+sound installation composed of views from the homes of 40 Exeter residents (at RAMM until 22 September); and 3: Here, Now, a series of live performances (17-21 September) with streamed video showing as part of Unexpected 2013, Exeter's brand new arts festival. The project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and Exeter City Council.
Rosie Denham, who is Exeter’s Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture, said: “We believe that fostering creativity and innovation helps make Exeter a great place to live and work and are delighted to be supporting Blind Ditch’s This City’s Centre project. This project encourages us to look at our city in a new light and demonstrates that Exeter-based practitioners are at the forefront of new and exciting digital-based art and performance.”