DAMMSel Day is a pedestrian-based event in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Participants immerse themselves in a fictional narrative while being guided through paths, parking lots, cemeteries, streets, and sidewalks, listening to audio segments that intertwine with wandering, observation and experiences. Participants engage with the spontaneous choreography of the city as streetscapes and passers-by become the site onto which a personal cinema is projected. Through collaboration with the Dartmouth Heritage Museum, a selection of several artifacts were chosen from the archives and helped activate the DAMMSel Day event.
The history of whaling forms a fictional starting point for the DAMMSel Day event and helps create a link to Dartmouth’s Quaker heritage. Rum-running marks another successful and profitable industry in Dartmouth. Combined, these two historical events come to life through a series of narrated anecdotes that unfold during the course of a day and where mystery, murder, and intrigue collide.
This is the first locative media art project using mobile GPS technology in the Maritimes and is aimed at engaging the material history of Dartmouth in an innovative way that infuses the static, determined quality of the artifact with a sense of possibility and play. DAMMSel Day means to investigate where we stand currently by interrogating the sanctity of the historical space with a conceptual and whimsical approach. It hopes to reinvigorate archival objects and recast their narratives in a contemporary light while balancing elements of fiction and storytelling, folklore, social heritage and history, technology and modern modes of communication and information exchange, contemporary arts practices, viewership and public presentation.