Following Random People

There are several instances of artists following people who do not realize they are being followed. While this approach will lead to a particular sense or randomness or unpredictability, and highlights issues of public/private, it also ignores the issue of consent. For example:

  • The Situationists created following games where they tracked the movements of strangers without being detected in order to learn something about the city and the self.
  • Vito Acconci, “Following Piece” (1969) – in the month of October, he would leave from his apartment, follow someone until they entered a cab/residence/etc; exploring the idea of public space
  • Yoko Ono, “Rape” (1969) – followed a woman with a camera for 10 days in London
  • Sophie Calle, “Suite Vénitienne” (1980) – follows a man from Paris to Venice, investigating ideas of the personal versus anonymous
  • Sophie Calle, “The Shadow” (1981) – had mom hire a private detective to follow her

For this “walk I will not make,” develop a walk inspired by these works. We will discuss everyone’s ideas, but we will not execute these walks.

Why is this a Walk I Will Not Make?

For ethical reasons. It would not be appropriate to follow someone without consent simply for the purposes of fulfilling an assignment.