THESTATEOFMIND presents Conor McGarrigle's WalkSpace:Beirut-Venice at the 54th Venice Biennale of Art
WalkSpace:Beirut-Venice invites the participant on a drift through Venice guided from Beirut and in Beirut guided from Venice.
The work involves two simultaneous dérives through the historic cities of Beirut and Venice, connected in real time to each other and to the world.
Two interconnected groups of participants will walk in each city, each receiving instruction and guidance from the other as they wander, get lost and explore the psychogeographical ambiance of the city. The progress of each group will be broadcast as a live video stream via Bambuser, tracked in realtime on a map with Google latitude and tweeted, with followers having the option of giving instructions via twitter.
The object is not to create a finite discrete work but to create a peripatetic relational space which can evolve and respond to the situation, the desires of its participants and serendipity, with the work being created through the actions of its participants. The space is furthermore overlaid with a hybrid, networked space connecting both cities and augmenting each space with the absent presence of the other.
Working from a changing set of basic instructions such as ’describe what you see’, ‘follow that person’, ‘take the next left and then the first right’ or the more loaded ‘take me to the heart of the city’ the two groups will walk in tandem each guiding the other, walking in Beirut as if in Venice and Venice as if in Beirut.
The project draws on early dérives carried out by the Situationists in Amsterdam and Strasbourg which connected groups in different parts of the cities with walkie talkies and Ralph Rumney’s 1957 Psychogeographical Map of Venice.