Artists Laura Nanni and Sorrel Muggridge have been working on new ways to explore the city collaboratively. Nanni lives in Toronto and Muggridge lives in Nottingham but the Atlantic divide has only brought them closer in terms of moving about and observing their respective cities. Nanni and Muggridge have developed a correspondence of direction giving. One person goes on a trip from point A to point B in their respective city and writes detailed directions based on their observations of the environment around them. The correspondent is than challenged to go on a similar journey in their respective city using the directions given.
As opposed to a more conventional idea of a drift or derive, where a person is simply given the directive to wander about without a specific goal, this process engages the walker in a more immediate fashion — forcing them to look for visual cues which might not exist, and become creative with the interpretation of the directions. An example of this kind of exchange goes like this. In the summer of 2010 Laura Nanni followed Sorrel Muggridge’s directions. Nanni was in Halifax and Sorrel was in Norwich. Here are photos of Nanni’s walk through Halifax, via the directions of Muggridge.
Start at the right-hand side of the train station, by the steps, facing the art centre. Here, turn right and walk to the end of the street.
Then, pass the bush with berries on it and a sign of higher education. Next, turn to your left follow the street towards the large building that might be a library.
Pass the bird house and a drawing in rust. At the junction look back the way you have come.
Walk towards the building with rainbow colours on it. When you reach it, turn right.
Continue for approximately 561 steps, or past 14 hazard signs, or until you hit the bench on your left. Here, follow the railing down.
Now step on to softer ground and head for the blue; keep straight seeing the sky touch down to meet you.