On Monday I went En Route. An aural, visual, disconnected tour of Auckland CBD created by Australian company, One Step At A Time Like This with the help of Suzanne Kersten, Clair Korobacz, Paul Moir and Julian Rickert. It may seem odd to be taken on a tour of Auckland by an Australian company, but One Step At A Time Like This create each En Route experience for and with each city it travels to. As a result you end up feeling part of something that was uniquely created for you, with you in mind.
A large part of this sensation is the fact that while there are En Route ‘guardians,’ you are not actually being escorted around the city. Instead En Route functions through text messages, an iPod and an occasional run in with your guardian. You’re being led through the city but with no idea of where you may end up next. En Route begins with a text message, the day before your journey notifying you of the starting point. After arriving at the starting point and beginning En Route, it’s not long before you meet your guardian who arms you with an iPod. On the iPod you’ll find a soundtrack to accompany your journey, thoughts and musings of voices (voiced by Alison Bruce, Sophie Henderson and Curtis Vowell) all homegrown, local sounds.
The result of this is a journey that is solitary but explorative and quite exciting. Towards the end of the journey it did start to get a bit heavy but as a whole En Route was beautiful as it gave me a totally different way to look at and think about the city I live in.
In creating En Route, One Step At A Time Like This have made something magical. It is incredibly well thought out and an experience I would well recommend. If you want to go En Route you have until Sunday (when the festival closes, sad face). Bookings must be made a day advance and can be done here.