Professional in-betweener and “missionary of the nose”, Sissel Tolaas recently launched her biggest City SmellScape project to date, a culmination of some five years of research.
SmellScape KCK/KCMO (2007-2012) at Grand Arts in Kansas City, which runs until 31 October 2012, consists of a game, installation and iPhone app that invites the public to engage as players, exploring and investigating the scents of the city.
Similar to the smell-mapping projects Tolaas has undertaken in Cape Town, Berlin and Mexico City in many ways, the distinguishing difference with the Kansas City project is that it takes the form of a game: a smell-based urban treasure hunt. As such, public participants are challenged to explore downtown neighbourhoods, foot and nose-first. The object of the game is to follow your nose, and sense of smell, to try and locate, and collect a selection of “scratch-and-sniff” postcards that have been infused with location-specific smells.
Toghether with the installation and game at the Grand Arts, the SmellScape iPhone was also launched. The free app lets users check in at outposts (on the game route), collect points and update scores automatically. The app inclues maps and “sniffers” can earn extra points by sharing descriptive “smell” words and photos on Facebook and Twitter via the app.
See a video of Tolaas's scented visit to Cape Town.