Below is the first iteration of Walking Distance. Currently, Walking Distance will be performed by appointment–every day that I have a walking date I will re-set to walking only (see below for explanation). Dates can be made by writing to walkingsituation [at] gmail [dot] com. Documentation here.
In: JUST SITUATIONS, presented by the Brooklyn International Performance Art Foundation (BIPAF)
Walking Distance has been percolating for a long time, but this version was formulated in response to this question, one of several put to us by the conference organizers:
How do we resist reductive inscriptions of/upon our bodies, enabling our actual(izing) presences to materialize in far more complex and particular ways?
In Walking Distance I pledged to walk everywhere I went from July 12-July 23, 2017 (excluding July 15). The public was invited to walk with me, conducting inquiries and conversations along the way.
Walking Distance is predicated on several idea-desires, all of which and more were brought up on the walking journeys.
1. The prevalence of speed: We move very fast, in vehicles. What would it be like to only move at the speed of a human body for an extended period of time? How can we interrupt the tyranny of speed, the hypercapitalist desire to devour space? Will slowing down also become a necessity, as our need for speed creates environmental disaster?
2. Being useless/inefficient: Is there a way create a counternarrative to the gospel of efficiency? I am (and we are) easily seduced by ideas of efficiency, but what does “efficiency” really mean, and who does it serve?
3. Bodies built for journeys: It seems from the evidence that human bodies are built to journey, and we are (in this time and place) largely sedentary. How do we keep moving? What is it like to live in our bodies in a way that can re-activate a connection to our animal structure?
4. Philosophers walk: Many interesting European philosophers and scientists spent a lot of their time roaming around. Australian aboriginals go on “walk-about” journeys. Pilgrims travel by foot to holy lands. Why? What does walking invoke in the brain? How does it become a practice?
5. Wandering, meandering, dérive, strolling… What is unstructured walking and how does it function for us?
Recently Esther Neff remarked on the prevalence of “epistemic pacing” in many art-related projects lately. I situate this piece squarely within that paradigm-—trying to figure out what walking itself means, and how it functions in/as knowledge and self-knowledge.