// new media class

Fang Tsai — Put Yourself in Someone's Shoes

Navigation, Orientation, Information — Summer 2019

When people are in completely unfamiliar places and big cities, the most direct way we use maps is to navigate from one location to another by a device, perhaps through a station of one of the public transportation, and we are also used to using stations to divide the entire city to locate ourselves.

Sometimes, we would want to leave our own marks at the place they’re visiting. Such as by leaving a mark on the google map, mark the store that we had been to. Makes the city truly become a place "we know".

I choose the place where all of the people will just pass through at the end but also need to stay for a short time while waiting for transportation, which is the station. So on the website I built, participants can easily see other people who have participated through scanning the marker (like the name of the station, or a ticket verifier), and can also leave their marks in it. Create a common imaginary community in this flowing, keep-shifting space, in different timelines. In this system, everyone has the same right of access and can keep their traces (footprints) in the local area, just like leaving their stamps in the virtual space. This stamp, on the other hand, represented the participant oneself, and also the shape, size, or style of the shoes, illustrating their image in a relatively conservative, non-invasive space.

At the same time, the action creates a community and eventually leads to a sense of belonging, they belong to the group. People outside the group are relative “others” and the same thing is shared only within the group.

The whole work uses a neutral approach to provide a platform and a way to continue to expand the creative motives and witness others who have been there, through the initiative of the participants (scanning, photographing, inputting text, uploading). And leave their traces.