Non-Sense of Place. Three interventions.

Michael Straeubig (Cognovo, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK)


“Non-Sense of Place” assembles for the first time my three public interventions about the relationship between systems and their environments. Two of the projects were specifically developed for Plymouth and Cornwall.

CO2rnwall CO2 Challenge (2014) re-visits ongoing debates about global warming by correctly interpreting scientific data and by drawing the wrong conclusions from them.

PFIP: Pedestrian Fitness Initiative for Plymouth (2015) takes a satirical look at the decisions made in urban street architecture with regards to motorists and pedestrians in Plymouth.

Speed Gardening Guerrilla (2012) is a Guerrilla Gardening game in which teams of players compete by planting plants in the city space.

The three projects re-contextualise familiar public discourses, playing with issues around private / public space, environment, ecological debate, and traffic planning. They make sense through non-sense.

The interventions will run alongside the conference in public space. Locations are around the University campus, street crossings throughout the city, and the Plymouth waterfront. They are open invitations to participate for conference attendees and for the general public.


Non-Sense of Place: three interventions / participatory performances that deal with questions of ecology, public/private space, environmental discourse, and priorities of city planning. All three interventions run continuously during the conference.

CO2rnwall CO2 Challenge consists of three rituals derived from empirical data about CO2 production (IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Participants are encouraged to combat CO2 production a) by covering soil with a napkin, b) by reducing the amount of ocean, and c) by practicing to breathe more slowly. CO2rnwall CO2 Challenge has a website, videos and scientific facts and presets itself as a serious initiative. The project satirically re-visits ongoing debates about global warming and the anthropocene.

Previous exhibitions: Fascinate Conference, Falmouth (2014)

Pedestrian Fitness Initiative for Plymouth (“PFIP”) is a participatory intervention that plays satirically with the topic of fitness and self-improvement related to patterns of motorized and pedestrian traffic in Plymouth.

During of the conference, participants will be asked to document examples of difficult to walk locations in Plymouth, re-imaging them as “fitness challenges” for pedestrians. They are invited to submit photos and descriptions that will be collected and displayed online. I will provide material and handouts for the participants.

The work is site-specific and consists of the intervention of the participants and the documentation „Pedestrian Fitness Initiative for Plymouth“ in form of diagrams, photos and descriptions. The project challenges the perception of our ordinary surroundings and aims to foster a discourse about urban planning, traffic and political priorities.

Previous exhibitions: MediaCity 5, Plymouth (2015)

Speed Gardening Guerrilla (SGG) is a Guerrilla Gardening game. Players are handed out plants or bring their own. They score by planting plants in the urban space and by stealing and re-planting plants from their opponents. Players may drop in and out of the game at any time, thus the game can run alongside an event.

Previous exhibitions: Malta Festival, Poznań (2014), Playful Arts Festival ‘sHertogenbosch (2014), Medialab Prado Madrid, prototyping a mixed-reality version of the game (2013), w00t, Kopenhagen (2013), Playpublik, Berlin (2012).

Detailed information about the game and rules are published at ludocity.

Non-Sense of Place. Making sense through non-sense.


Michael Straeubig (@crcdng) is a play theorist, game designer and creative coder, exploring games and playful experiences in various media with a focus on mixed reality and posthuman play. Published games include “Secret City – Missing Max”, “Speed Gardening Guerrilla”, “Tidy City”, “Eine gegen Eine”, and a number of events and theatrical / experimental interactions. In 2014 Michael became a Marie Curie Fellow / PhD candidate in the Cognovo project at Plymouth University, researching and creating playful systems (

Balance-Unbalance 2017

Balance-Unbalance (BunB)
is an International Conference designed to use art as a catalyst to explore intersections between NATURE, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY and SOCIETY as we move into an era of both unprecedented ecological threats and transdisciplinary possibilities.

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