Tripadvisor meets Pokemon Go in this absurd, fantastical tour that proves how liable we are to being led.
Exposes our compulsive desire to know as much as possible about the places we visit
Keeping up with contemporary demands, faux tour operators Binge Collective have installed a travel app in devices, which they allocate to audience members upon arrival. With headphones attached, the devices mimic audio-guides, and the three hosts in high-vis escort us out of the grounds with such authority that almost masks the fact they’re kiwis introducing Scotland’s capital.
Stationed at the tip of The Meadows, the experience begins with a short introduction and an in-app tutorial. Headphones up, we are directed between shapes that the collective have surreptitiously erected in a circle around us. The instructing voice is warm and reliable, one that you might blindly take any instruction from. And begins their case in point. The show at once exposes our compulsive desire to know as much as possible about the places we visit and how we’ll take anything we’re told as fact, as long as it sounds like one.
With a cartoon map of the surrounding area, we are set free to explore solo. Selecting marked points of interest (or, ‘ancient shrines’) prompts the audio-guide to describe each of these places and its purported significance. Where bins are goodie boxes for the homeless and hedges are things to be shaken and crouched beside, the irony is full frontal. Ancient Shrines and Half Truths pokes fun at conventional tourist trails that favour the acquisition of knowledge over experience. After all, to what to extent does reality matter if we’re having fun?
If you’re willing to participate in a series of bizarre practices guaranteed to push you out of your comfort zone, you’ll have a ball with these guys (and maybe an impromptu picnic, too).