Hey everyone, so I’ve been thinking a lot about various ways of intervening with the Cootes landscape, as I’m sure many of you have, and I had an idea about something I discovered years ago…
Back in high school I had a buddy who got himself a GPS, and soon after we discovered a recreational activity known as “Geocaching”. Geocaching, for those who don’t know, is an outdoor, global treasure hunt. You type in your postal code or area online and then you are given GPS directions that will navigate you to various treasures or “caches”. When my friends and I gave it a try, the first one we found was in Victoria Park (the park near Curry’s art store). The cache was a small container with a log (we signed our names!) and a bunch of small toys and random objects inside. I took out a bubble-blowing necklace and in exchange, left an object I had on me for future Geocachers before returning the container to its hiding spot. We looked for a few more around the city, some were harder to find than others, and some we didn’t find at all.
When thinking back on this experience, which for me was a fleeting interest that entertained me for a day, I realized that it really got my friends and I exploring parts of the city we hadn’t really noticed before. I think that aspect, along with ideas of mapping and community involvement in Geocaching, connect with and could potentially be useful in our Mapping Paradise project. This could happen in a variety of ways, and might attract people to our potential interventions in nature / land art / whatever Mapping Paradise ends up being for us. For instance, if we had several pieces of art/installation integrated into the Cootes area, we might be able to either integrate the concept of Geocaching to lead people to specific spots, and perhaps our “caches” could contain information about the project/the artists/environmental issues.
I will probably try to integrate this idea with my proposal, but I want to throw it out there for consumption, so if anyone else wants to think about this and perhaps put it into action, go for it! For more information on Geocaching visit: http://www.geocaching.com/