On Saturday July 9th, Ron Tran gave a personal walking tour of his latest project, A Way to Go, which is itself a guided tour. Tran lead the attendees and a pony through alleys, which he named based on his earlier experience. The artist interspersed personal antidotes to elaborate on the prerecorded audio and images of the augmented reality tour.
At “stops” along the way Tran spoke about his interest in using the form of a guided walk to structure and depict his own experience of the city. Its formal characteristics spurred him to traverse places he wouldn’t normally consider, build narrative associations between specific locations, establish relationships with people he encountered and employ new technologies to guide an audience on an unexpected route through Vancouver’s downtown core.
Tran led a pony on his walking tour. This performative gesture was deliberately comic, adding a fantastical element that no doubt caused some double takes and created a degree of surprise. However, the animal also functioned romantically, as a poetic device to conjure a past time, becoming the antithesis of the GPS technology utilized as a guiding tool for this project.
A Way to Go, is the first in a series of projects using interactive technologies which take programming outside of the gallery allowing audiences to experience contemporary art within the wider context of the city. Working with Autobox Media and Hannah Hughes, the Contemporary Art Gallery has designed a program that uses Layar Reality Browser to guide audiences on a journey where they can explore and interact with artwork they encounter along the way. These projects will work on iphone and android smartphone’s. Devices are available at the gallery for visitors wishing to borrow one.