Visitor Center takes several forms. Sometimes this project operates as a Souvenir Stand. Souvenir means “to remember” and so these souvenirs offer tokens for slowing down and remembering the connected-ness of place and the materials which comprise it. I’m especially interested in learning which geological forms and processes become the “resources” of my city’s ever-growing built environment. So far Souvenir Stand has focused on the give away of Portable Sand Dunes (sand from Ocean Beach, SF, CA) and Rock Specimens (concrete samples from construction sites in my San Franciscan neighborhood). Sand in San Francisco is mined and added to stabilize the concrete which builds the skyscrapers and new condos. The sand is from the mountains eroding and the rivers transporting. Each new building is millions of years of geological history in the making – least we forget. Each Souvenir comes with a brochure which suggests a site-specific walk and somatic exercise to be done with one’s souvenir. The brochures and their somatic exercises encourage a personalized and physical relationship to place, geological history and materiality.
Visitor Center has also taken the form of a group hike that explores somatic place-making technologies for bodies that inhabit environments built, perfected, mediated and forgotten. This somatic toolkit is for relocating ourselves and also for physicalizing the places (2-d and 3-d) that we inhabit.
This work has been shared at Di Rosa and Headlands Center for the Arts.