“I Am Alfred” An Exercise in Mapping, and Designing Suitable Scenarios


How to go about mapping a set of stories as in ‘I Am Alfred’? At the end of all this there is an example, taking a small piece of daily life practice as a starting point.
First step in the mapping is shown as a sketch of the people involved. Then we add those who we think might be linked to each of those involved. With the sketch we use the pieces to play with to focus on roles, stages and passages and add them to the map; colouring in the sketch. Finally we try and project scenarios within the map, permitting ourselves to change the map

1Who is involved?

This is the easy part. Who are the players in the story? Then, draw lines where the one has some sort of relation with one or more others. That mapped network is what you are going to work with.

2 With who are they linked to?

This can become speculative. In exercise that is a problem. Obviously Alfred’s parents are outside of the story. They are dead. Is there still a relation between Alfred and them that is worth mapping?

3 Determining roles, stages, passages

The bare map needs coloring in. Add roles to the players. More than one role can be played by an individual. What are the stages played on? And what is the character of each of the links between the players?

4 Playing with the map in order to design a fetching scenario

True is whatworks, is the motto of this procedure. Which of the many elements in the stories can be brought together in a way that inspires? Do not worry about feasibility in this stage. It is all about experimentation, and art. And coming up with an exciting –and perhaps new— scenario.

5 Designing experimental interventions

What needs to be added, changed, reversed, so that the scenario that was developed can be made into an experiment? Adapt the map so that is snugly accommodates the experiment.

Signs and symbols

As with all maps, in this case we also work with and signs and symbols. Reducing what we see to an overview that invites ourselves and others to work with is what this is all about. And aiding our navigation in the challenges ahead.
With that in mind a set of ‘pieces to play with’ were proposed. These we now give visual representations.

• Us ————————–
• Them ———————-
• Storyteller —————-
• Listener ——————-
• Participant —————
• Opponent —————- 

Stages to play
• Personal spac————-
• Social sphere ————-
• Public domain ————
• Earth matters ————-

• In search of of collaborators ————
• Making things things public ————
• ‘I learned to to walk on the beach’ ——