1. a walk in space.
2. a mind walks
3. a walk in New York city.
Elastic City is an art walking tour. But not your average ‘let me lead you around a gallery and explain art to you” kind of tour. Instead, they are walks created by artists to make audiences active participants in poetic experiences of a city. ‘Solar Alignment’, my space walk of the day was invented by local artists Neil Freeman which claimed to explore the way the sun synchronizes with the city, but actually delivered much more. The walk physically covered just a few blocks of the east village/china town/little italy, but mentally took us out of the neighbourhood, out of NYC, out of the country and into the vast sublime of the solar system. Our time was spent watching the sky, and the sun and the light and shadows move behind and over the city, but with each of these moments you became acutely aware that it was us, on this plant that was moving, not the sun. When you standing still for long enough you can see your shadow moving in tiny increments, BUT it isn’t moving at all - the earth is moving under it. Now I know that you all know this – the earth revolves around the sun big deal. But it’s very rare to have this knowledge so well illuminated that you see it and you feel it. Instead of feeling like we were 5 people walking along the sidewalk, we were 5 people standing on a planet, in space, within a solar system. It was a delight to talk and wlak and look and be surprised. It also gives me a kind of vertigo that makes me want to grip tightly onto something made of steel and cement. Don’t stop spinning world, I like gravity.
Walk 2 was located in an extensive exhibition of Francis Alys’ performative walks pieces at MOMA. It largely comprised of video, drawings, notes and diagrams that recorded his many many walks, so ironically I spent the entire afternoon sitting down in dark theatres and at small tables while I imagined his walks, here is a sample of my favourite video, which was both humours and poetic in its exploration of isolation and belonging:
- 64 Coldstream guards (you might know them as Beefeaters with the big black fuzzy hats) enter the city of London by different streets, unaware of one another’s route.
- The gurads wander through the city looking for each other
- Upon meeting they fall into step and march together, looking for more gurads to join up with.
- When a square measuring 8 x 8 gurads has been built, the complete formation marches towards the closets bridge
- As they step onto the bridge, the guards break step and disperse.
And also this one...
"Sometimes making something turns into nothing."
In this walk he pushes a massive block of ice around the streets of mexico until it melts - oh the futility of creativity!
After all my mind blowing walking, I decided to hop off the subway 10 blocks early and digest my day of wandering and wondering, in the twilight and in the rain.