Over the past six months we’ve had the most fantastic time with Hamburg based Audio Walk makers Storydive. Our collaboration, funded by the Cultural Bridge programme, was Playing with Audio Walks, looking at how we can bring together Produced Moon’s practice in scavenger hunts and outdoor play, and Storydive’s audio walk technology and approach to audio-focussed narrative.
We’ve met on zoom, for initial chats, plans and project reflections; in a rainy Glasgow, hosted by Platform, to explore trees, alternative worlds and past practice, and again in a very sunny Hamburg to walk the city and investigate audio walk tech and the story of F - the very best or worst audio walk Hamburg has ever seen.
A week at Platform Glasgow
We began our collaboration with a short residency in July at Platform in Easterhouse where we finally met our new German pals Sophie and Fabian in person. We shared past practice and were inspired by worlds crafted in virtual reality and they showed us an amazing stop motion film they made over 1 night with each shot created by passers by at a festival. Walking around the local area we imagined experiences we could send audiences on; we looked at the science and fiction of trees, imagining a multiverse of tree worlds we could invite audiences into to explore.
While they were here, we wanted to introduce them to some of the artists we’re excited by, so the wonderful Libby Odai joined us. Libby is a creative technologist and roller skater - (check out this interview if you want to hear more about Libby's work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsEEN2g2V5g)
At the end of our week we ran an open workshop for young people and families at Platform Glasgow. We invited children to create new worlds with us with our NEW WORLD GENERATOR. We made some prompts like:
What! There’s no such thing as _____________. But don’t worry there’s loads of _____________.
Ears are __________. Everyone has 3 ____________.
And folk could pick balls out of a hat to fill in the gaps or go freestyle.
We had wonderful worlds where ears were the sea, and everyone had 3 ants. Or there was no such thing as school but loads of lions. We gathered pictures, sculptures and stories of these worlds to build a mini multiverse together.
We left this time feeling inspired by open creative exercises, the wonder of trees & mycorrhizal systems and the joy of collective play.
We did the workshop again at Platform’s family day, enjoy these piccys of worlds made.
A stint in sunny Hamburg
We met again in early September in Hamburg, this time joined by Esther Kaufmann, a writer, creative and consultant with a background in work for and with young audiences and writing for games. Together we experienced a collection of audio walks - we are especially obsessed with this Walid Raad audio guide at the Kunsthalle.
We also experienced some of Storydive's audio walks which took us through the streets of Hamburg, and we reflected on the possibilities of live data to meaningfully shift and impact storytelling. How could we use data from Google Maps or weather reports or time of day to effect the story in real time? Storydive host all their audio walks on a lovely app (download here if you want to experience one! Dont worry some are in English) and are finding subtle ways to incorporate live data so the audio walk will change depending on time of day or whether a shop is open or closed. But what if we took other metrics - what if the story changed based on stock market data?! This led us to F…
F is the best or worst audio walk / scavenger hunt ever created, so impactful and effective it resulted in the city of Hamburg being shut down. You can listen to our podcast and hear the story of F here.
We leave this phase of our collaboration buzzing with ideas, and inspired by new ways to explore public spaces, and craft alternative realities.
We’re now imagining what comes next: and delving into the process of trying to make that happen: getting the funding, partners and support to explore our new approach of making scavenger hunt audio walks, and how we can collaborate with young people between Hamburg and Glasgow to create them. Watch this space pals.