A meander workshop proposal written for Para Lab, in response to a walking workshop by Ann Carragher with Proximity collective
The meander like the ‘bimble’ is a method of walking research characterised by its semi-‘aimless nature’. The intention is that the multisensory relaxed and ‘rhythmical’ nature of walking allows for ‘slow observation’ and enables the participants to make new connections with the environment and between the participants though the discussions and actions along the way. Crucial to the meander is A the extraction of materials [physical samples, data, ideas] from the environment; this action demands a counter focus which cuts into the otherwise aimlessness of the walk. And B, The creation of the Delta Object; the subsequent sorting selection and archiving of those materials, which in this case takes the form of a bottle garden. Through this process we will reflect on ideas of collaboration, of para lab as a symbiotic organism that needs to survive in a hostile environment; it has limited resources. Is it parasitical in nature? does it require a host medium to survive? Where are its roots, what are its necessary resources, substrates and energy sources?
Activity Materials: A map with the start point A and destination B, Tweezers containers with which to store collected items. Post-it notes / clipboards / paper. Post activity: terrarium making materials: bottles to make terrariums in, various implements,
Meander task outline
1/ Your task is to meander between points A and B as indirectly as possible by a route of your own choosing. One participant [probably me] will be tasked with recording the meander; making observations and notes.
as indirectly as possible by a route of your own choosing. One participant [probably me] will be tasked with recording the meander; making observations and notes.
2/ You are tasked with collecting small plants and substrates; weeds growing in cracks Incidental gardens, moss, plants which have colonised, and infested spaces neglected sites. We also need substrates, soil and small granular materials that also gather in these places. Extract these using the tweezers and place them in the container. Record the location [geo-tage photographs] any thoughts or discussion taking place at that time, reflections or descriptions of the site for example.
3/ On reaching the destination we will sort through these materials together to create the delta object. In this case a bottle garden. While the bottle gardens are being made, a discussion will take place around the selection of the items placed in the garden; the locations of collection, cross-referenced with the notes from any discussion thoughts and ideas that were manifesting at that time. The terrariums should be labelled and archived along with any other relevant maps and images.