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Posted by on Oct 1, 2013 in art, miscellaneous, scholarly

Notes from the Desire Path: Hippodrome

Notes from the Desire Path: Hippodrome

In May 2013, my colleagues from the Narratives in Space and Time Society and I put together a workshop for participants at the Differential Mobilities conference we attended in Montreal. The workshop took place at the Hippodrome in Montreal, which is currently being researched/redeveloped for residential and commercial uses.

We put together a short presentation | discussion of that experience for the Tracing the City conference in Halifax in October 2013.


This includes a few short videos, a short paper, and some images. It’s been redeveloped as an essay to be included in an anthology of papers from that conference.

NiST member Barbara Lounder provided an introduction on site at the Hippodrome:



Actor Brian Downey volunteered a reading of the Philip Larkin poem “At Grass”, which was about an abandoned raceway.

And about 75-100 people from the conference enjoyed a great tailgate party picnic, visiting the “pindrops” on the race track, and participating in the activities provided on the 7Scenes app.

Two softwares were employed by NiST team members Léola Leblanc and Brian Lilley to help prepare, translate and map the action digitally: a WIX website and the 7Scenes software, linking narrative to maps. We all prepared material for the website and software application.

Two gorgeous slideshows were prepared by Bob Bean, one of the NiST team, incorporating various elements emerging from reflections about the now-defunct racing and wagering site.

Courtesy of Robert Bean and Brian Lilley (c) 2013


For the conference in May, I put together an interview of Nik Luka about the Hippodrome project. He is one of the participants on the Montreal planning committee for the Hippodrome redevelopment project. Léola put together a video about the Monty Python “coconut division” (see the pindrops video above) as it related to raceways, and an invitation to respond to a provocation, as well as an audio piece featuring the calling of a race.

We learned a lot, and will continue to work over the material as we prepare for our next intervention in public space.

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