P r e / a m b l e:
A 2 day festival of Art and Psychogeography

NOVEMBER 1 & 2, 2003

Festival Overview
Participating Artists
Schedule of Events
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Western Front
Upgrade 2.0
Special Airplane
Kate Armstrong
Year Zero One

What is Psychogeography?
Algorithmic Psychogeography
Guy Debord's Theory of the Derive
Why Psychogeography?
Social Fiction
Kevin Hamilton

W A L K : Temporal Superimposition for the Walker
Western Front
Date: Saturday, November 1, 2003
Time: 1 pm

The superimposition of space is a familiar tactic for the walking interventionist. Time, however, is rarely attended as a potential site for overlay and comparison. In this workshop I will demonstrate the superimposition the sounds of a slight past onto the rhythm of a present walk, through the use of a simple portable short-term delay device. This instrument allows a walker to walk to the sounds of her own steps, delayed by a step or two (or some other time increment). Using off-the-shelf supplies, I will construct a few of these devices and allow others to try them out, in the interest of making public a practice that for me so far has been quite private.

T A L K : Giving the Lead: A Series of Walked Interactions with Strangers
Western Front
Date: Saturday, November 1, 2003
Time: 12 pm

In this talk Kevin Hamilton will describe and contextualize three projects: Step / Right / Up, Leading the Guide, and Cross. These three works explored ways of engaging strangers in transitional spaces - in each piece, he sets himself up with a repetitive task, in which the sounds of his own footsteps were translated or amplified into the space. Each task involved the attempt to match his walking rhythm to those of passersby, thus transferring the amplified step to other users via his own feet.

Step / Right / Up: In a busy two-story lobby along MIT's "infinite corridor," I positioned myself in a balcony, looking down toward the oncoming pedestrian traffic. As pedestrians entered the lobby, I tapped my right foot in sync with theirs. The amplified sound of my foot (and therefore the walker's) filled the room; below me, a live image of my tapping foot could be seen on an existing tv monitor, usually used for campus announcements.

Leading the Guide: I positioned myself on the first landing of a large, enclosed stairwell. As pedestrians began to ascend the stairs below, I attempted to follow ahead of them, my feet in sync with theirs. A large, obvious amplifier at ground level filled the space with the sounds of my feet (and so theirs as well). Upon each walker's exit from the stairs, I descended to wait for the next person.

Cross: By altering the audible crosswalk signal at a major Cambridge intersection to sound only when my feet hit the ground, I anonymously signalled for others when it was safe to cross. I began each crossing by walking at a pace that kept the signal at its usual tempo, but then quickly drew up next to another pedestrian, attempting to follow his or her pace instead. Upon reaching the opposite side of the street, I ceased pursuit and resumed the pace required to maintain the signal's usual tempo.


Kevin Hamilton teaches at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he does his own research and work with undergrad and graduate students in Painting, Sculpture, and Narrative Media. His own practice involves a mix of device-design, stand-alone video work, and public projects in video, sound and performance. Though his ideal venue is the "volunteer" or guerilla intervention in everyday space, he also has exhibiteded in gallery shows and online, including solo shows at New Catalogue and Trinity College in Chicago, group shows in Illinois (the "eshow" at Krannert Art Museum, November), and rhizome.org. Commissioned public works include "Bluebridge" in Grand Rapids, Michigan and "Quad for Crowds" in Los Angeles. Hamilton has been invited to install "Bluebridge" next summer in Vancouver as part of the New Forms Festival. He earned his BFA in Painting at Rhode Island School of Design in 1996, and a Masters of Science in Visual Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000.

Kevin Hamilton Website