“We had a smell, but we lost it…”, commented Marta Calvo during one of a series of 5 smellwalks in Pamplona.
SMELL VOIDS & ABSURDITY
“Place: Pastry shop. Smell: Nothing. Comment/association: Absurd.” One recorded smell note from a smellwalk with the general public on Sunday October 26 around the secundo ensanche.
IMAGINED WORLDS CONJURED THROUGH THE OLFACTORY
“No, definitely not Italian”
“A meat stew perhaps with tomatoes and onions…”
Unseen smells generated a hotly-debated imagined recipe amongst smellwalkers around the Universidad Pública de Navarra.
SMELL DENSITIES IN CITIES
A greater number of smells were perceived on street corners where human activity, architecture and wind pattern combine indicating a vernacular olfactory density in urban space.
The artwork makes use of olfactory data collected in-situ from 5 smellwalks. The process of mapping through smellwalking proposes that our olfactory sense has the capacity to alter our perception of urban territories. In the resulting motion graphic, Smellmap: Pamplona, every individual smell goes through 3 distinct stages:
- Smell forms as individual particles emerging at approximate geographical sources (data from the smellwalkers)
- Smells is shifted by wind direction and speed (taken from weather data) for a timed duration/longevity (as noted by the smellwalkers)
- Smell volatilises into thin air as we finally enter the lived-in world of the smellwalker trying to clutch at, and identify, an elusive aroma that simply disappears
Sensory territories are elusive and personal. Smells have the power to turn the world on its axis.
The map is designed to be as ephemeral as the data; a series of volatile components, representing human moments in time, a contested smellscape of an autumnal city in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees. The works starts to explore possible methodologies and cartographic languages for collecting and displaying olfactory datasets.
EXPLAINING THE MAP’S CREATION
Interview by Juliana Martinez with video of presentation http://mapamundistas2014.wordpress.com/tag/kate-mclean/
by Alex Baurès for Mapamundistas arts program (September – November 2014) at la Sala Conde de Rodezno in Pamplona.
Ana Dot at A*DESK