Today we explored the city in groups. I worked with Kevin Gabon and Ellen. Our concept was: numbers, which was written on a map of Strasbourg. We began the process by following the route and talking about the process. This led to the idea of following numbers instead. We began by making rules such as: the number had to be facing us; if it was an even number we should turn right and if it was an odd number we should turn left. We documented the new route on the map and took photographs of the numbers that influenced our direction. This led to another rule such as: no repeating types/styles of numbers. Our journey ended at the church.
During our journey we realised how one may see numbers in a literal and figurative way. There are visible numbers and numbers that may be revealed through the geometry of buildings and the body. Numbers are a universal language but may also be specific such as currency. Numbers are everywhere revealing many systems. What interested us was the way numbers influenced the world we live in and more directly the way the body moves within the city.
After an hour, our journey ended at the Cathedral. This is when we came up with the command: don’t trust the numbers. This was sent to another group. The command we received was: turn around. This command seemed non sensical and random to the concept and processes we were working with so we decided to shift our thinking and play.
We decided to create a game using the numbers that influenced our route. We drew these numbers on the floor with masking tape in a grid. The rules of the game were similar to that of our process: odd=left and even=right. The numbers were placed on the floor randomly. The game created chaos when played, subverting the idea of the working system that the city relates to.
The game may be a starting point to a project exploring the city through numbers. It may be re introduced into the city and the rules may be refined and developed more. There are many ways to develop this game further and using it to reflect how people move and interact within a system like the city.
It was a good experience seeing how one can create and develop ideas for projects through play.