Two days ago, I did mission #13 with my friend and Oracle, Robin Hill, and her students in an art practice class at U.C. Davis. Before we began by crossing a pedestrian bridge over Highway 99 into Oak Park, I talked to the students for an hour about The Freehoodship and my hero’s adventure project in 2013. I began by explaining how it is that a imaginative consciousness can participate in and create (in subtle but important ways) the real world out of its virtual, that is infinite, potential — I use the term “virtual” here as it has been used by such philosophers as Deleuze. The point of my art, I told the students, is to consciously actualize as much of this virtual realm as possible, a process which by no means leaves one unchanged. I also showed them the website, gave a brief definition of alternate reality gaming, and finally described the mission we were about to do.
For me, and I believe, the students, performing the mission was a great experience. My goal in doing it was not only to expand my boundaries of experience, but to create real, heartfelt connections to a community I did not really know, but had “known of” for years. In recent times, I had grown tired of “knowing of” it and had wanted to know it without the intrusive and intervening preposition. With this mission, I felt like all of us began the process of removing this preposition.
And to assist in this removal process, I added another layer to this mission only hours before it began. Just as I did in the mission I performed at Sunrise Mall (See blog post: “perennially neglected reoccurring ideas”) to get beyond my objectification of strangers, I wanted to work contemplatively with images to encourage a more imaginative and real integration into the fabric of Oak Park. Therefore, while I walked through the neighborhood, I took a number of digital photos of whatever caught my attention. In the two nights since the mission, I have used Dennis Klocek’s issue transformation methodology (once again, check out “perennially neglected reoccurring ideas”) to more fully cross the threshold into Oak Park (I had determined that one of my many issues was crossing the threshold). I will be continuing to employ this methodology for the next few days and seeing what happens.