Wendy McMurdo / Let’s Go to a Place
Today my kids surprised me by suggesting we (take a) walk, but only so they could take over a Pokémon gym. Initially, I thought that location based gaming would be such a radical and refreshing re-imagining of space. But it just seems it reduces every spatial interaction to a bland monoculture of itself. There has to be something better than this, something where the perception of the exquisite organic complexity of the real meets the creativity of the players imagination in an endless remediated interpretation of what space is.’
– Mark Wright, retrieved FB, Aug 2016
In the summer of this year, my youngest daughter was about to leave primary school and I wanted to make a final piece of work documenting her class. I’d worked with this group on many occasions over the years, mainly looking at the impact that the computer and digital culture had on their lives.
That summer, location based gaming exploded onto the scene and it seemed that much of this group’s time outside school was spent chasing Pokémon around the streets of the city. Using GPS and their camera functions, they roamed the city, inhabiting two worlds at the same time – one geographic and one imaginary. In this set of portraits, I wanted to capture that dual existence, now that space has been re-imagined for us by the appearance of location-based gaming.
About the artist
Wendy McMurdo’s work focuses on the now ubiquitous role of the computer in the lives of the majority of western children. The rapid proliferation of computers in schools has provided the context for the development of much of her work, which looks directly at the influence of computers on early years education. Working closely with local schools, she has explored the role of the child within the school, the growth of the Internet and the development of networked play. In related projects, she shadowed school parties on educational visits to various local museums, a process which evolved naturally from photographing in the classroom. From this, she produced series of works that explored the ways in which children related to the museum and its objects in a world of increasing simulation. She is based in Edinburgh.
For further viewing