AutSpace was a proposal for a public art project and resultant geo-located digital audio artwork co-created with philosopher and cognitive scientist Pablo Fernández Velasco. Pablo specialises in phenomenological approaches and was undertaking research at UCL. This proposal was developed through, and shorlisted for, UCL’s Trellis 3 public art initiative. The AutSpace project envisaged a collaboration between us and a group of community participants – autistic adults living in east London, principally Hackney.

In conversations after our initial meeting Pablo and I discussed a mutual interest in psychogeography and the Situationist International group of artists, writers, and social critics. We focused particularly in the practice of the dérive (“drift”). We looked at how this related to the the psychological effects of the geographical environment on emotions, perception and behaviour. Taking this psychogeographical interest as our guide, we produced a proposal focusing on overlooked experiences of urban East London.

We proposed a set of generative art-based phenomenological approaches. Particular attention was devoted to environmental experience and to the experience of public space, particulary focused on experiences during the Covid pandemic.