Ten things about Sydney is the mediascape that emerged from this project over the week.

This is the opening, and the ‘default’ screen.

The initial suggestion to create a treasure hunt came from Lissa. It was a flash of inspiration! Straight away this idea provided motivation both for the students in compiling the files for the mediascape, and for a potential audience of younger park users. The title ‘Ten Things About Sydney’ arrived on one of my early morning walks. I enjoy the play on the word about, combining recordings about the gardens, with the objects found round and about. The narrator might also be given the name Sydney. Restricting it to ‘Ten Things’ also provided a tidy structure.

Another idea formed, to base the mediascape around the parks benches, setting off from the education centre. Sitting on the first bench, beside the lodge, the ‘listener’ would hear an introduction to the mediascape, with a scroll through of the 10 things to be found. As the narrater then guides the listener around the park. When they near one of the hidden things, it will appear on the screen. Once found, a there could be a ‘well done’ or a cheer and applaud... We did not work out practicality of how the mediascape would know if the user had actually found the object - this could be done via a QR code, stuck somewhere near which, when photographed, would set of the cheer. Or better still, an RFID tag.
But this will be for the summer, within the time scale, a simple tap on the screen had to suffice.

During the walk the listener is invited to sit on benches, to listen to stories, or hear bits of interesting history about the park, or to contemplate other ideas such as what they might play, what others use the park for, or to listen to brief encounters with other park users. All these events could be set of using RFID tags, to get around the problem of GPS drift, and allow for a park bench size area of device response.

The mediascape as a whole is tied together with a landscape of overlapping ambient sound; tennis players, birdsong, children on the swings, trains, planes, traffic, and footsteps.

We also played with ideas of having areas of other sounds, such as laughing, echoes, ghosts, whispers, giggles... This part of the plan remained rather unformed.

If you wander too far off course, there will be large areas where the traffic noise increases, and eventually police sirens, to alert you. Sydney Gardens is surrounded by the road.


The original map, as created for the mscape map maker software.
I made an A0 size print, backed with card, as a physical manifestation of the mediascape.


This map remained on the table in the lodge throughout the week, with a layer of acetate on which to plan the project.
I had hoped that the young people might create a colourful collage of ideas, cutting and pasting images, but this is one of the things that didn’t happen. To much like school perhaps, but an idea to be kept up the sleeve for the summer.


This map shows the position of all the benches in Sydney Gardens. Working to the benches lends another layer of structure. I have been looking at the possibility of attaching rfid tags to the benches, to initiate events on the mobile devices. This would get around the problems of GPS drift.


The Alien Stump... the second of the ‘things’ to be found, hidden in buses beside the path. I have been looking at the possibility of attaching tags or QR images to these objects, so that they have to be photographed or touched to record them as having been found.

> aliens
An example of story file - recorded by Ash, to be played when the Alien Stump is found

> Cleo
An example of a history file - Cleo Witt tells a story about Jane Austen

> gravelsteps
An example of an ambient sound file - footsteps, recorded by Axl

> whatdoyouthinkofthepark
An example an interview with passers by, recorded by Axl

> train_bride
An example of the narration

> laughing2
An example of a group recordings - Laughing

A selection of the ‘things’ to be found around the park:


graffiti under the railway bridge


the name ‘Kat’ carved into the tree henceforth know as the ‘smooching’ tree


debris beside the rail track


the entrance to the old ice house


the water fountain


Charlotte records a story


Ash trials the mediascape


Axl shows Cleo a recording that he has made