Sissel Tolaas, SmellScape KCK/KCMO, site research, 2012, Photo by Megan Mantia

The sound of a city is a topic of growing interest (as mentioned here and here), and there`s still more to find out about our urban surroundings: For example, the smell of the city.

Some of you might remember the City-Smell Research by Sissel Tolas in Berlin in 2011, that captured the scent of various Berlin districts and, based on the results, created an olfactory map of the city. With a background in science and linguistics, Tolaas has spent decades exploring how smell – one of our most powerful and least understood senses – can help us improve tolerance within our cultures and communities. She conducts her social experiments with a sense of discovery and play. Nothing stinks,” says Tolaas, “but thinking makes it so!

The latest project by Berlin-based artist and smell researcher Sissel Tolas SmellScape KCK/KCMO at Grand Arts in Kansas City is more than a mapping project – this time Tolas invites the public to engage as players investigating the smells of Kansas City. The smell-based urban treasure hunt leads “participants to explore downtown neighborhoods on foot and nose-first, alert to the power of smell, in a quest to locate and collect scratch-and-sniff postcards infused with location-specific scents.”
Find out how to play – the rules are to be found over here: