Collectively map performers in public places.
This approach was first tested at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space (June 2015) for which scenographers of this Quadrennial could subscribe. The area of investigation was the Old town square in Prague, and the mapping was performed over the course of three days at different moments of the day. The participants were invited to use a web-application on their mobile phone that was designed for this purpose.
The tool (a web-application) has different brushes incorporated which makes the legend of the map. The cartographic exploration consists of following and mapping ‘public performers’ of which each brush represents a different ‘performer’. Before mapping it is decided what performers the cartographers are interested in to make a map of. The cartographers collectively follow the movements of a specific category (such as men with socks and sandals or pigeons) with which they leave traces on a digital map. The longer the cartographer stands still, the thicker the line on the map becomes, allowing the more dynamic aspect of velocity and time to be mapped. The end result is a collectively created image that was constructed over time and that gives insight in the dynamic use and appropriation of a public place.
Through this approach it is made visible what imaginative coping strategies can be found in the public spaces, while introducing scenographers to a novel way of studying/ engaging with public space and its potentials. Observing a square from this perspective (where public space is presented as a work of scenography) allowed the scenographers to take a closer look at behaviours in relation to the spatial qualities of the square. This is a novel approach for their discipline, opening possibilities for scenographers to work in/with public space.