Circulation: an algorithmic walk in downtown Windsor with students from the University of Windsor

On Wednesday, February 1st, I’ll be guiding an algorithmic walk for Dr. Mike Darroch and Dr. Rob Nelson’s history / communication studies grad seminar. I spent part of the afternoon playing around with some ideas to have the instructions, or algorithms, distributed to the class.

We’ve done walks before, they’ve often been quite ambitious and sprawling. Given the two-hour time slot for the class, I’ve tried to keep this one short enough to finish it within an hour. The class did a range of readings on circulation in the city, so I’m hoping that these instructions will help frame some interesting ways to activate some of the larger ideas in the texts.

I started out with something I figured would be just a 1/4 sheet of 8.5″x11″ paper. Each group of students would start at a different number. I want the students to do the same things, just not all at the same time.

So, then I started thinking about those easy to make foldable books.  I can print off one template and just set the fold different ways to offset the starting instruction. I also decided to put a little fill-in-the-page-number-blank  and a few lines to note the location.

Each group will be instructed to take a photo once they find each of these places / things / situations. At the end, maybe we’ll be able to assemble them into a quick slideshow, or map or something to compare notes, so to speak.

We’ve been talking about doing some fairly regular drifts — maybe this is a good model to work from?

11 Replies to “Circulation: an algorithmic walk in downtown Windsor with students from the University of Windsor”

      1. Yeah! I think it may have been, anyways. When it comes to more permanent books, I often use a big needle and embroidery thread.

    1. I think it turned out well. I have a handful of photos, I might put together a bit of a post. But, the best part was the discussion afterwards. And that’s what I’ve been trying to figure out. How should we organize a walk? Does it have to end somewhere? Or can we all just disperse? It would seem to me that finding places to actually have a conversation could be challenging in some areas. Maybe it’s just about posting the series of photos from each stop along the walk, allowing the conversation to happen as it needs to at each one?

      1. I think once the walk is done it feels kind of nice to have that sort of bittersweet end to the adventure.. having the conversation as the walk happens, stopping if need be, and then allowing yourself time to reflect on it once the walk is over.

        I don’t know, I think if the weather permits, we should all go on a mini-walk tomorrow!

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