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Artifacts of Beautiful Trespass

Bridget Quinn
+ Chris Reilly

Artifacts of Beautiful Trespass

In October 2015, Detroit's Picnic Club hosted a picnic and auditory meditation titled Beautiful Trespass.  The ad ­hoc group convened at a parking lot at the intersection of Carpenter and Gallagher.  Just before sunset, they caravanned to the end of a defunct and overgrown service drive.  When the pavement stopped, they took off on foot down a gravel path, over a set of train tracks, through the deep, coarse grass and onto the top of a monumental mound. This traffic island—situated within the archipelago of unused lawn at the intersection of the I-75 and M-8 freeways—was their destination.  Surrounded by highways on three sides and a train track on the fourth, the mound was nicknamed The Invisible Island, for the fact that it is constantly passed but seemingly unexplored.

The experience of Detroit’s landscape has a great deal to do with personal perspective.  The idea of walking into a place that would normally only be seen (or unseen) while driving past seemed like a promising method to gain new perspectives and new connections to space.  To activate our experience and perceptions of The Invisible Island, members formed impromptu groups of twos, threes and fours—we call these groups the Traffic Chorus—to explore the island's sonic landscape with audio devices designed for group listening and recording.  With a prompt to harmonize with ambient traffic sounds through collaborative vocal improvisation, the Traffic Chorus joined with the rushing cars, clanking trains and rumbling trucks, weaving their attention, bodies and voices into the fabric of a place seemingly intended to be ignored, bypassed and drown-out.

This audiovisual essay serves as a document of the Beautiful Trespass experience.

Artifacts of Beautiful Trespass 02 The Traffic Chorus
Bradley Bailey
Caitlin Drinkard
James Folden
Chad Gilchrist
Julién Godman
James Hartrick
Jake Hooker
Simona Lepadatu
Billy Mark
Michael Patchett
Kevin Putalik
Bridget Quinn
Chris Reilly
Lauren Rossi
Crystal Teng
Rachel Thompson
Eleni Zaharopoulos


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Artifacts of Beautiful Trespass 05 - 06
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* by Bridget Quinn
** by Chris Reilly
*** by Bridget Quinn + Chris Reilly
**** by Timothy Boscarino

***** The exercise by Bridget Quinn (left) and Welcome to Invisible Island (right) by Bridget Quinn and performed by Lauren Rossi

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a journal of art + culture(s)  
link - issue 25: February 2016
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This text is by Bridget Quinn and Chris Reilly in their capacity and does not, necessarily, reflect the views of different infinite mile contributors, infinite mile co-founders, the authors' employers and/or other affiliations.