foolish journeys documentation

close up cut-ups

Yesterday’s performance of Foolish Journeys went very well. First, participants came in and signed the book, and then they were given pamphlets (made from a single letter-sized sheet folded in half twice), which contained the Foolish Journeys orientation text.


(dis)orientation pamphlet

Then they were given a reading, using my deck of cards, laid out on a tablecloth made of cut up pieces of the official MTA New York City subway maps. The tablecloth was pieced together to create an impossible geography of New York,with some segments of the city repeated, mirrored and distorted, as in a dream.

cut up map pieces

map table cloth


reading in progress

After the reading, participants were asked to choose the card they would most like to focus upon and encounter in their lives. Once this card was chosen, I scattered small folded pieces of the subway map on the table. Participants were then asked to choose a folded piece and open it. The area depicted in this map could become a site of pilgrimage or further research for the participant–the basis of a personal creative exploration, allowing participants to experience their familiar city as somewhat more strange and unpredictable. Most participants immediately experienced an uncanny or synchronous recognition of the parts of the city depicted on the map.

folded map pieces

end of the night

3 thoughts on “foolish journeys documentation

  1. I wish I had been in town to take a foolish journey…

    I really like the blending of tarot cards and the use of the maps to create a personalized journey of significance one might never have contemplated before.

    After reading the orientation text i feel it could be applied to any place (not just New York). Would you consider creating a downloadable DIY version (with instructions) for those of us outside of New York?

    Just and thought…

    Great work!


    1. Hi Merle,

      Glad to see you like the idea! I hadn’t thought about a downloadable DIY version, but I think it would be a good challenge for me. While it might not be to difficult to make an instruction manual for cutting up city maps, the tarot part is a lot trickier. A lot of the energy in the piece is based on the interaction between the reader and the participant, who share knowledge, intuition and insight in a particular ritualized moment. For me it’s about (challenging or subverting) the traditional relationship between researcher and researched, drawing us both into a space of uncertainty and identification, inviting the participant to imagine herself as a creative spatial researcher, and turning me into a facilitator in that process, and not the master architect of a research design.

      If I could figure out how to create a guide to doing this part of the project, I’ll stick it up on the internet.

      Thanks for the challenge Merle,


  2. Hi, Do you actually know there is a book titled The Foolish Journey into Fear Ends Here? Very interesting book.


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