Peripato Telemetikos is an ongoing walking art project. Walking is undertaken in a variety of environments, by solitary walkers or groups of walkers. A custom-built system is utilised to document the movements of the walker(s), and to provide an audience with a means of engagement with the walkers. The walkers document their walks through simple mobile phone image and text messaging facilities.
Peripato Telemetikos has been conducted in Australia and international locations including Greece, Turkey, Brazil and Cuba. The project makes use of a custom-built system comprising an SMS/MMS gateway, dedicated server and java application. This enables the walkers to send images and text to the gateway as it appears as just another mobile phone. This eliminates the need for specialized mobile phone apps and increases access to the project. All that is needed is a mobile phone that can send text or image messages.
The walking, combined with the documentation generated by the walker(s) constitutes a subjective mapping of place. All of the mappings are documented with a the custom-built java application that can be accessed from http://www.peripato.net. The custom-built app has been designed specifically for this project, resulting in an interface that supports the walking an mapping process.
The custom-built app allows audiences to view aspects of the walk that the walkers wishes to share through imaging and text in real time. Unlike many walking performances, it is possible to have a remote engagement with the walker(s) through the app.
The project has engaged audiences by allowing them to be the walkers and creators of the mappings of their locales. This has occurred in a number of contexts, e.g. arts festivals, group exhibition and walking art exhibitions. The walkers have in most cases come away from the experience with an altered perception of the places that they have walked. This and the need to create a subjective mapping through the eyes of the walkers on the ground, has been the driving concept behind the participatory walks.
The solo walks have taken on a life of their own. Walking along the routes of hidden urban waterways has revealed a way of seeing a city that reveals itself anew through the tracing of ancient ecological systems: the waterways. Furthermore, this mode of walking has tapped into an international dialogue and debate around the use of urban waterways and the benefits of revealing them. It has been found that revealing a once hidden urban waterway dramatically changes our relationship with the waterway, leading to better care and maintenance of that waterway.