Transformative Spatial Archives

The Common Line Pendle test at the end of February 2020, was an important part of the Augmented Reality (AR) App’s spatial framework design. It was an intra-action of physical-virtual domesticity and creative transformative community.

When Paula and Chris met me the first time, they sent the brief of UX design of Common Line App.  With an architectural background, I tried to further propose the idea of space within App design. It is not only a functional tool to guide the user into different programs, but also a trigger of discursive practices. It informs an ambiguous and non-linear approach to create and play between physical and virtual domestic spaces.

During workshop in Pendle, children and parents started to play and create their own “image” of a tree by using as-found materials. Within an area of 20m radius from Harwes Farm, accompanied by cats, guinea pigs, geese and chickens, soil, grass and branches were collected and remixed with clay. 

Every child and parent made completely different interpretations of the “tree”. After the workshop, when all the works were presented on the table, a domestic transformative process was established. I found the surface of tree projection, tree polygon, distorted fork, and chaotic rhizome. These works truly influenced me both critically and emotionally. I 3D scanned the whole room with the scenes of all tree works.

Based on the idea of spatial framework of Common Line App, I think an alternative design approach needs to be found. Placing myself into the workshop process, as another ordinary member of workshop, this spatial “tree” framework should be also transformative. It means indecisive, multiplicity, soft and fluid. I worked as a fan within the community, hand drawing and painting the spatial framework to possibly embed and intra-act with various transformative works produced by these members.

I regard this working process as a domestic version of “Archive of Our Own”. For Common Line, all works, from children’s version of trees to AR App’s spatial framework, are fanworks. They are transformative and those transformative works are legitimate.

In the near future, there will be more community and domestic workshops, especially after the lockdown mode. In this “new” normality, I imagined, with the community and artistic support from Volkhardt, Paula and John, plus technical support from Chris, a common line of spatial archives could be constructed between physical and virtual community spaces. 

From Milton Keynes, Pendle to Carlisle, we will constantly form, transform and reform a real-time rendered multi-fandoms, intra-acting of communities, paths, valleys, landscapes and wildness.

Special thanks to: Chris Hunt, John Drever, Helen Pritchard, Paula Crutchlow , Volkhardt Müller, John Wylie, Gill Taylor, Paul Hartley, Mums2mums Group

Pete Jiadong Qiang, 28th Feb. 2020