Smellwalking Staten Island, NYC

For the Future of Storytelling 2017, where the majority of participants explored the visual and audio of digital immersive environments through VR, MR and AR technologies, the smellwalking project used the simple technology of the nose as a means of recording the information located over a long weekend in Snug Harbor. In keeping with the temporality of the festival, and determined to minimise any footprint, the maps created were personal narratives and an ephemeral collective record.

Participants undertook a smellwalk – using smellnotes to record findings – and returned to smellmapping base camp, a stretch of tarmac, to record their own highlight smell of the FoST site. Onto a basemap created from wax crayon, participants represented the smells they noted as of particular interest with icons drawn in coloured chalks.

Beautifully, on the penultimate night it rained and the smellmap disappeared.

(This map forms part of the NYC Smellmapping Project in which a block in each borough is mapped creating an overview of an entire city. Completed maps in the series include Brooklyn, Manhattan and now Staten Island. Looking for opportunities to do Queens and the Bronx.)