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Temporalities of the Smellscape: Kyiv

Many maps of olfactory experience fix smells in space and neglect to take account of their temporal nature. There are multiple rhythms involved in smell walking; walking pace, heart rate, sniffing rate, and smells are perceived for a period of time. “Taking a Line From Its Walk” is an animated mapping of seven people’s smell experiences on one shared walk. The animation accentuates the idea of repetition with difference and highlights rhythms of similarity and diversity. Moreover, the animation symbols fade, referencing decreasing smell intensity as a result of molecular volatilisation and human adaptation. The resulting superimposed wave patterns pulse and evince how smells might be subject to interference in the air.

“Polyrhythmias of the Smellwalk”, comprises superposition of individual smellwalk sequences to create a composite animation and an alternative format for communication of an aggregated smellscape. As each of the encountered smells dissipates and disappears, its source remains as a reminder of the original source, an indicator of the path taken and the potential for a re-encounter at another time.

In Rhythmanalysis, Lefebvre says, “We know a rhythm is slow or lively only in relation to other rhythms (often our own: those of our walking, our breathing, our heart). This is the case even though each rhythm has its own and specific measure: speed, frequency, consistency.” (2014, p.20)

A temporal analysis of smellscape mapping can be found in Chapter 5 of my PhD which is freely downloadable from the Royal College of Art repository

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Date: 2016
Media & size: Digital animation
Exhibited:
2019 – “Show 2019” RCA Degree Show, Kensington Gore, London
2019 – “Nose-first” PhD private show as part of the viva requirement. Attendees: Prof Laurene Vaughan, Dr Nina Morris, Prof Teal Triggs.