Abstract: One Foot in the Past, One Foot in the Future: Walking with Locative Media - Lucy Frears

The Hayle Churks app uses walking and sound to slow down the participant and activate the senses while roaming in a marginal post-industrial coastal town in Cornwall. Rapid redevelopment in Hayle has hidden or decontextualized much of its history. Walking is essential to trigger multimedia loaded into GPS zones accessed through the smart phone app. Memories and layered sounds are experienced as invisible hauntings in this 'remote' site-specific performance (Pearson 2010: 82). Oral histories, sound effects, songs, fictional narrative and music drift in, some resonating with participants leading to mind wandering as well by the feet. Do located stories from the past and present encourage reflection on the future?

Using the app as a creative research tool, data, both qualitative and quantitative, was collected from participants. This paper questions whether walking in the landscape with locative media can "reanimate, however temporarily, the embodied relationship between individual subjects and an environment" (Lorimer, 2006: 497-498).


Lucy Frears is a Falmouth University PhD researcher and associate lecturer based in the Academy of Innovation & Research (AIR). Her cross-disciplinary practice-based research is an experimental investigation into whether locative media can be used to reconnect people with landscape. Her app, Hayle Churks, was published on iTunes December 2013 and won a national Collections Trust award June 2014. Lucy's background includes work as a BBC radio producer and journalist with BBC TV journalism, Hollywood film, arts management and funding experience. Lucy was the Cornwall Film Festival director in 2005 and her award winning book based on memories Churks, Clidgy & Doodle-Dashers. Hayle Tales & Trails , is now in its second edition. Lucy was running two networks for others interested in locative and interactive arts (PhD locative interactive arts network and Cornwall Locative/ interactive Arts Network) but has suspended them as Open Studio Friday in AIR replaces the need for monthly talks and workshops .....and there's that PhD writing up to do.