Mis-Guides: Guidebooks of the Future?

What happens when a group of artists produce a guide book? You get something that looks a lot like a Mis-Guide. Rather than telling you where to go and what to see, a Mis-Guide gives you the tools to see a city or environment in a whole new way.

Each Mis-Guide suggests a series of walks and points of observation and contemplation. Unlike an ordinary guide book, it is guided by “the practice of mytho-geography, which places the fictional, fanciful, fragile and personal on equal terms with ‘factual’, municipal history.” Huh?

If you’re thinking a bit literally right now, some of the tips found in the books include:

  • Start at your door and take pictures of 26 objects, one for each letter of the alphabet.
  • Borrow a dog from a friend and let it take you for a walk.
  • Walk along a river with a friend but do it from opposite sides, while maintaining contact (through sight, sound, flares, etc.) the entire time.
  • Still confused? Check out some sample pages from either the Courtauld or the Exeter Mis-Guide.

Okay, so it’s all a bit esoteric, but the point is that there are numerous ways to shake a person out of the same-old hum-drum way of seeing a city. You don’t HAVE to hit all the sites or sample all the recommended dishes. You can have a very meaningful experience exploring quiet streets in a new and exciting way.

Are these the guidebooks of the future? I hope so.