Parcours explores the relationship between people and places in the digital navigation era.

The project, developed In the frame of the Photaumnales festival, aims to create a collective map of the city of Clermont-de-l'Oise by relating the outward landscape to the more intimate landscape linked to the memories of its inhabitants. This series of portraits depicts each participant in a place of their choice, to which they felt connected. A wasteland, a forest, an old school, a dimly lit glimpse, assert their dignity as the protagonists of a human story. Places that are difficult to observe, especially if guiding our gaze is an itinerary calculated by an algorithm or prescribed by an application.

Unlike paper maps, which require constant eye contact with the environment, digital navigation systems are weakening, little by little, our ability to orient ourselves in unfamiliar environments: several studies show how by delegating the task of orientation to cognitive artifacts such as navigation apps, our brains stop doing the heavy lifting required to create and maintain mental maps. Instead, when we try to figure out where we are and memorize a street or a building, that place becomes ours.

Adopting this stance, people’s stories gave me access to a whole imaginary world foreign to me, which transformed completely anonymous or abandoned places into meaningful places to my eyes. Inhabitants were thus both subjects and creators of a collective emotional map based on their experiences.

Simultaneously, I introduced the practice of spontaneous walks capturing unrelated images. Embracing disorientation deliberately, these visuals collectively shape a unique narrative, filling the void in my personal depiction of the cityscape.

With time, the combination of the portraits and the images distilled from my wanderings started to be meaningful. Like a map, these fragments helped me to orient myself inside a new and fantastic version of the city, but also a very personal one and more familiar to me. It became mine.

Parcours has been on display at Photaumnales 2022 festival organized by the Diaphane photographic center Clermont-de-l'Oise in collaboration with the Photolux Festival.