A Sardine Street Box of Tricks is a handbook for anyone who wants to make their own 'mis-guided' tour or walk.
Written by 'Crab Man' and 'Signpost' (Phil Smith and Simon Persighetti - both members of Exeter-based Wrights & Sites group), the book is based on the mis-guided Tour of Sardine Street that they created for Queen Street in Exeter during 2011.
The book is designed to help anyone who makes, or would like to make, walk-performances or variations on the guided tour. It describes a range of different approaches and tactics, and illustrates them with examples from their tour of Queen Street. For example:
Wear something that sets you apart and gives others permission to approach you: "Excuse me, what are you supposed to be?"
Take a can of abject booze from the street or a momentary juxtaposition of a dove and a plastic bag and mould them, through an action, into an idea
Attend to the smallest things
Examine the cracks in your street and the mould on its walls, note its graffiti, collect its detritus, observe how its pavements are used and abused
Set yourself tasks that passers-by will be intrigued by: they will enjoy interrupting and even joining in with you
Draw upon ambiguous, ironical or hollowed-out rituals to complement the multiplicity of your walk with intensity of feeling or depth of engagement.
And so on...
Readers' feedback: 'The book has been a revelation...' 'Brilliant...' 'Inspiring!' 'I love the book...' 'Thank you for making a chore-like walk into something more thoughtful.' 'I have been thinking of opening my walk more to the public, so this is very inspiring.'
Triarchypress, Devon 2012. 84 pages, 12.7 x 20.3 cm, paperback with black and white images throughout.