The People's Tours
(Project proposal for Multimediale - Curator: Niels Van Tomme)
The People's Tours construct and distribute interactive tours of significant US landmarks via its website at peoples-tours.com. The People's Tours is conceived as an inversion of a conventional tour guide service. Our services do not rest on the definition, authorization and dissemination of a unified history or significance of place - our tours give no coherent notion of "who we are" or "what this place represents". The People's Tours is a relational tour service where tours are constructed and conducted by the participants themselves while responding to simple prompts and each others reactions to site, to memorialized events, to history, to personal and institutional memory (and the muddy waters in between). People's Tours revel in the possibilities of perpendicular story lines, the moments of relative freedom where inconstancies are made visible and metanarratives are destroyed.
The People's Tours: Washington D.C.
One week prior to the start of Multimediale, The People's Tours will conduct interviews with tourists at the seven memorial sites on and near the National Mall. Tourists will be asked to respond to simple prompts from interviewers and their responses will be recorded. These initial audio recordings will then be posted for download on the The People's Tours website and serve as the first generation of the National Mall Tour. During the week of Multimediale, participants will download an mp3 version of The National Mall Tour to their ipods or other mobile devices. A PDF map of the site(s) will also be available for download and print. Upon visiting the seven monuments, accompanied with map and mobile devices, participants will listen to commentaries left by previous participants. At each memorial site, participants will be prompted to respond to the site and the of comments of the previous day's participants by using their cell phones to call a 1800# and recording a message. Each day the mp3 download will be updated to include the comments from the previous day. As the work progresses as a sort of conceptual exquisite corpse - an imperfect and contradictory rendering of the site (both physical and conceptual) will form.
The tour route will include:
* Washington Monument