Non Guided Tour 2021

Non Guided Tour is a browser-based challenge to find your way to Berlin on a virtual map

You are randomly dropped at a location point 100km from Neuer Berlin Kunstverein (n.b.k.) in Berlin.

The aim is to find your way back on a virtual map (with very few pointers)

While enjoying the landscape

Dirt road, dog and bike 100km from Berlin, screenshot Non Guided Tour, 2021

Non Guided Tour is digital re-interpretation of Tomas Schmit’s performance piece Sanitas#79 from 1962. In his controversial performance piece, Schmit asks the audience to board a bus, only to be abandoned at a random location after a 100 km journey.

«The audience is asked to board a bus, driven exactly 100 km and then dismissed», Tomas Schmit, Sanitas – 200 PageTheater #79, 1962, tomas schmit archiv, Berlin. Photo: Roman März

!Mediengruppe Bitnik takes up this experience of losing one’s sense of orientation at a physical location by transposing the Fluxus work into a web-based game. The players of Non Guided Tour are placed on a virtual map at a random point, exactly 100 km away from Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.). They are challenged to find their way back to n.b.k. using rudimentary clues – such as blurry road signs, scenic features, and architectural landmarks. Making clear reference to the structure of online games such as MapCrunch and GeoGuessr, while deliberately operating counter to their logic based on scores and speed. Non Guided Tour invites participants to take a stroll through digital space and playfully addresses the role of the audience as well as the dimension of time, while responding to today’s increasingly privatized and panoptic digital space.

!Mediengruppe Bitnik uses the infrastructure of the website Mapillary – a free geospatial platform based on street photographs taken by private users. With the help of partially blurred images taken at different times of the year and day, users can navigate along busy roads or hidden trails. Non Guided Tour operates beyond clearly defined vectors of space and time, and the homogenous surveillance aes- thetics of digital street views we have come to expect.

With this work, !Mediengruppe Bitnik addresses the idea explored by Fluxus artists of interweaving art and everyday life – by exploring the possibilities to do so in an increasingly hypermediatized world.

This piece was commissioned by Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) for the exhibition Tomas Schmit. Pieces, Actions, Documents 1962–1970