Catch :
In the autumn of 2016, I visited Oxford in England as part of a project realised by the [( 6 )] collective with the aim of producing a collective body of work to be exhibited in a different Oxford, in Canada.

We each went our own way. I could have visited the many tourist spots, the universities, the museums, or the rivers I fished when I was a boy. I could have done many things, but I decided to play Pokémon Go.

Mediating the experience of the city through the “augmented reality” phone app changes the way we look at our environment, our decision-making and behaviour. Oxford is no longer about its rich history and heritage, unless these sites also house a “Pokestop” or one of the sought after creatures. We no longer really care for the Magdalen Bridge, the Ashmolean or William Turner’s historical home, only what supplies they might provide in the frantic race to “catch ‘em all”. I allowed myself to be guided by the app, installed on my phone just for the purpose of this performance, and I photographed each of the Pokémon I encountered during a 30km walk around the city. A selection of those phototgraphs are included here.

So, no. “Catch” is not about rich history or heritage, its about the here and now; the zeitgeist of this age of technology, an ersatz of true reality.

Rob™ 2016
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