The souvenir can only represent a place we cannot gain access to (a distant station), and as such is a metaphorical, remote sensing device of what could well be the last utopia – tourism. Iceland: Latitude 65° 00’N, Longitude 18° 00′ W. Tasmania: Latitude 42° 50’S, Longitude 147° 20′ E.
During a four week arts residency at SIM Residency, Reykjavik in September 2012 I will be developing and presenting a new project called the Tourism Telemetry Project. This project explores the humble souvenir as a form of telemetry –transmitting distant receptions into the stations of everyday life. Employing the lens of tourism and cultural identity in order to challenge notions of place, home, utopias and ‘remote’ islands, the project will construct a series of intriguing narratives between the islands of Iceland and Tasmania, the southern island-state of Australia. During the residency I will build my own souvenir kiosk and install this kiosk, complete with Tasmanian souvenirs in a number of popular tourist sites and local communities, where we will invite local people and visitors to swap a souvenir of their own for one of ours. The work will explore ideas surrounding the exchange of goods, ideas, stereotypes and portable myths. Possible installation sites may include the popular tourist sites of the ‘Golden Circle’ in South Iceland and key information visitor centres. Over the next few weeks and during the residency itself I will be posting regular updates on the project.