Finding Ghosts

Finding Ghosts: Walking backwards into the future is a collaborative multi site project, using augmented reality to create a layered narrative of site across time. The project has so far been presented in Dunedin, Auckland, Copenhagen and has also intervened into another walking project "Long Time No See?".

Tracey Benson, Canberra, Australia

Finding ghosts is an emerging project which engages walkers to rediscover and consider place and time.

There have been a number of iterations of the project to date: in Auckland, Dunedin and Copenhagen. In each of the walks, the audience can access the augmented reality in a number of ways - participating in the physical walk, via a website blog and also via a printed map.

Conceptually the project evolved by the artist wishing to explore a place as an absent tourist, via online archives of images, stories and maps. From this initial virtual tour, the walk has further evolved by collaborating with people at the local level.At each location the project has evolved differently. For example, in Auckland, Edward Bennett, K Road's historian helped shape the waypoints of the walk and also led the walk as part of the MESH Cities Symposium.

In practical terms, Finding Ghosts is a project which uses the app Aurasma to collaboratively create interactive walking tours of the city. Sites are researched explored remotely through using Google maps, Wikipedia and Google Street View. As the project has evolved, the focus has started to audiences and making sure there is easy access to the walks. Although Aurasma is available on more recent Androids and iPhones, there are many people who use older phones or Windows based phones (especially outside of Australia). As a response to these audiences, the project has now settled into the next phase which involves working with a developer to create and app that is open source and device independent.

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