Smells have the power to turn the world on its axis as the following smellwalk perception attest…
“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.
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.
2017 – “Communicating the Intangible”, Royal College of Art
2014 – “Mapamundistas: Las consecuencias del mapa” at Conde Rodenzo, Pamplona, Spain, curated by Alex Baurés
2017 – “Mapamundistas: Este cuaderno contiene una exposición”, Editorial: la caracola, Encuadernación: Cosida, Idioma: Castellano / Euskera/ Inglés / Francés, Impreso en España en diciembre 2017, ISBN 978-84-697-8441-9.
National Library of Scotland
Manchester University Library