Random Location Generator || Just One Vocabulary - concept || Experiment One || Experiment Two || Experiment Three

Let the process begin...

It is an interesting concept; a random location generator. Keeping in mind the fact I can't be completely random, I chose some suburbs (not including my own) that I could then narrow down. (Gordon, St Ives, Killara, Turramurra, Lindfield)).
In group discussions, it was interesting listening to the different ways that people were wishing to create a random location generator. From spinning tops and newspaper clippings to haiku poems and bank statements. My initial idea was to have someone say any word they wanted, a word I had not given them, and then correlate the number of letters in the word to the number I have written down for the locations. I am still going to incorporate this, but have decided to include my parrot, Poe, in the exercise. I will write numbers on top of identical paper cups, under which I will let him see me place a nut. Whatever number is written on the cup he knocks over, will be the suburb I start in. Then I will narrow the suburb down into numbered segments by asking my previously mentioned "pick a word" question. Then in order to come to a more specific location, I will drive around that area with an alarm set on my phone allowing me 10 minutes of circling. When the alarm sounds, that is my location on the road. I will finally flip a coin to determine which side of the street I am to focus on, which house or park or random in between space. (I don’t fancy having to choose a piece of space in the middle of a highway if that happens to be where my alarm goes off, which is why I am adding a further step of flipping a coin.)

The Random Location Generator
  1. Number selected suburbs
  2. Write each number on a cup
  3. Place a nut under each cup
  4. Let Poe choose a cup
  5. Separate suburb chosen by Poe into sections + number
  6. Have someone say any word
  7. Correlate sub-section to number of letters in said word
  8. Set alarm for 10 min and drive around selected space
    - loop the count if word is too long.
  9. Make visual/mental note of surroundings when alarm sounds
  10. Park and go back to location where alarm went off
  11. Flip a coin to determine which side of the road I should look to and what house, etc, is in that space.
  12. Begin experiment!!

Poe, the Random Location Generator!

Gordon, separated.

gordon map.JPG

I then asked my Dad to say the first word that came to his head. Sitting at his desk, he looked down and said, "calculator", staring directly at the calculator before him. So, going to my map I counted to ten, coming to rest on area 3.

Grabbing my keys, I ran to my car, map in hand, and drove up Rosedale road. My 10 minute alarm was chewing at the bit, so upon nearing Park Avenue, I let it rip. After circling around the suburban streets, I pulled up Henry Street and waited at the stop sign to turn into St Johns Ave. My hourglass of opportunity slipped away as I waited at the stop sign, a bus taking more than its fair share of time to manoeuvre around a parking car. Then as I turned the corner, "BEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEEEEP". Okay, I got the point, I had arrived. Looking left and right, I was between a cafe and an Asian mini-mart. I parked my car and returned to the point of unknown possibility and potential. I pulled a coin from my purse and flipped, heads for the cafe, tails for the mini-mart. Heads. To the cafe I would go.

The wrought iron letters on the outside of the café spelled out, "Pottery Green Bakers". I had seen the outside of the café several times, but never been inside. It was much bigger than the outside gave away, extending back two shop depths. The interior was highly eclectic, with shipping-yard-esque pulley hooks hanging pot plants from an open beamed roof, empty liquor bottles holding sugar and water and random bric-a-brac scattered throughout. On top of it all, my double-espresso was fantastic. The only mildly embarrassing part came when I asked the manager if I could take some photos for an art project. She laughed and said it would be fine. The other customers, however, were a hodgepodge of curious, unimpressed and downright putout. I actually saw a man taking a photo of me taking photos but when I stared at him he stared right back, not a glimmer of a smile. It all felt very conspiratorial and the world suddenly seemed oddly circuitous.

Amidst this strangeness of grins, giggles, glares and drinking water from a Hendricks Gin bottle, there was the glorious smell of coffee, bread and other delicacies wafting between their own creation and consumption. The sound of conversations (possibly about me), grinding coffee, steam, grating chair legs and the odd train (when its journey was carried upon a westerly breeze), joined in perfect harmony with the smells and assorted visuals to create an experience worth revelling in. Perhaps it was only because I was paying such close attention to everything for the sake of this project, that in turn, everything extended its hand back to me. Irrespective of the reason, my faculty's proverbial hand was given one hell of a shaking.

It was as a result of this that upon reviewing my photos, I felt only disappointment. Where were the smells that grasped my nostrils and sounds that burrowed into my ears? I paused, biting my finger nail and then drawing back in a fusion of mild disgust and delight as I tasted a remnant of my espresso. That was the question I wished to brandish my fist at while glaring at my photos: Where were the rest of my faculties?!