“I Love walking, particularly as a flaneur getting Lost in the back streets of foreign cities. I also spend a Lot of time watching and filming people walking in cities. It might have something to do with my training as an animator analysing people’s ‘walk cycles’.
There is something about the speed of walking; that rate of movement with a particularly human scale – not too fast, not too slow – the Goldilocks point for objects moving through a frame. And walking is not only a Linear movement through space, it also contains the internal pendulum cycles of swinging arms and Legs, the sine wave bobbing of the head, the Last-second infinitesimal raise of the toes.
As a subject for exploring normally unseen temporal structures, walking is almost perfect. There is a fundamental familiarity to it that offers the viewer a thread or a bridge between the known experience of the everyday and the abstract objects of our imagination.” (credit)
“The qualities of our journeys are as subtle as the strokes of a pencil.
Our travels are textured as we squiggle on foot, dither at junctions, speed along motorways, and fly through air corridors.
For fifteen years I’ve record all my journeys with GPS to map where I have been and how I got there. It is a form of personal cartography that documents my life as visual journal.
Our journeys are shaped by the rules of the landscape. We route along engineered solutions as defined by paths and boundaries that tweak and tamper with our travels. At a time when it’s getting harder to experience the feeling of being lost perhaps we should try and stray away from recommended routes.” (credit)
“Jeremy Wood is an artist and mapmaker whose work is an expression of the poetry and politics of space. For over a decade he has been exploring GPS satellite technology as a tool for digital mark making on water, over land, and in the air.
Wood started GPS drawing to investigate the expressive qualities of digitally tracing his daily movements. His work binds the arts and sciences by using languages of drawing and technology to present a personal cartography. By revealing ones tracks the technology can introduce new approaches to travel, navigation and local awareness. GPS drawing engages a range of creative applications and challenges perceptions of scale by travelling as a geodetic pencil.
Wood specialises in public artworks and commissions with an original approach to the reading and writing of places. His work is exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collection of the London Transport Museum, the V&A, and the University of the Arts in London.” (credit)
A more recent walking artwork highlighting the intersection of walking and race is In Between Camps (2012), which consisted of a group of six researchers and artists, Ismael Al-bis, Fabio Franz, Matteo Guidi, Thayer Hastings, Ibrahim Jawabreh, Saleh Khannah, Sara Pelligrini, Giuliana Racco, and Diego Segatto, walking across the West Bank from the springs of al-Arroub to Solomon’s Pools (three massive stone reservoirs) south of Bethlehem in search of an ancient Roman waterway, the Arrub Aqueduct. The project originated from the Campus in Camps program developed by Al-Quds University, an experimental education program in the Palestinian refugee camp of al-Dheisheh. The purpose of the project was to both reactivate the water system’s source, and imagine a time-frame before the contemporary apartheid-reality of walls, colonial land parceling, and occupation of Palestine. While they were hiking, the group was stopped by Israeli soldiers who were suspicious of the Palestinian participants due to their skin tone and dress. The international participants intervened and explained the trip, their search of the aqueduct, and showed them the map, engaging in a type of information overload tactic, not unlike the tactics Codogan described for minimizing the perception of criminality. After the walk, the group created a booklet (Booklet ) reflecting on the history of the site, their experience, and how the various layers of race-based rule and exclusion are projected on the land.
“The Mirror Shield Project was initiated in support for the Water Protectors as Oceti Sakowin camp near Standing Rock, ND in 2016. Artist Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota) created a tutorial video shared on social media inviting folks to create mirrored shields for use in onsite frontline actions. People from across the Nation created and sent these shields to the Water Protectors. The Mirror Shield Project has since been formatted and used in various resistance movements across the World.” [credit]
For the December 2016 iteration recorded using a drone camera, Luger collaborated with Rory Wakemup (Ojibwe) to orchestrate the more than 150 protesters. The work was inspired by Ukrainian revolutionaries who used mirrors to reflect back the images of Russian government forces. This iteration advanced nonviolent protest, referencing the reflected sky as well as the nearby river. (Morris, Kate. Shifting Grounds: Landscape in Contemporary Native American Art. University of Washington Press, 2019. Page 1.)
“Beginning in 2007, started photographing along the U.S.-Mexico border between El Paso/Juarez and San Diego/Tijuana. My project is organized around an effort to document all of the monuments that mark the international boundary west of the Rio Grande. The rigorous undertaking to reach all of the 276 obelisks, most of which were installed between the years 1891 and 1895, has inevitably led to encounters with migrants, smugglers, the Border Patrol, minutemen and residents of the borderlands.
During the period of my work the United States Border Patrol has doubled in size and the federal government has constructed over 600 miles of pedestrian fencing and vehicle barrier. With apparatus that range from simple tire drags (that erase foot prints allowing fresh evidence of crossing to be more readily identified) to seismic sensors (that detect the passage of people on foot or in a vehicle) the border is under constant surveillance. To date the Border Patrol has attained “operational control” in many areas, however people and drugs continue to cross. Much of that traffic occurs in the most remote, rugged areas of the southwest deserts.
My travels along the border have been done both alone and in the company of agents. In total, the resulting pictures are intended to offer a view into locations and situations that we generally do not access and portray a highly complex physical, social and political topography during a period of dramatic change.” [credit]
“At my request, my mother went to a detective agency called “Duluc”. She hired them to follow me, to report my daily activities and to provide photographic evidence of my existence. The investigation was conducted on April 16, 1981.” [credit]
“In April 1981, a detective followed the French artist Sophie Calle through the streets of Paris for one day. Hired by her mother at the artist’s request, the detective logged her movements and photographed her activities as she, without his knowledge, recorded her experience of being watched. She later exhibited the reports side-by-side in her piece “La Filature” (“The Shadow,” 1981), which highlights Calle’s method of working over three decades. Staging provocations resembling seduction, documenting them with snapshot photography and a forensic first-person point of view, she crosses the thresholds of voyeur and exhibitionist, public and private, conceptual control and chance.” [credit]
“Lennon and Yoko Ono made a 77-minute-long conceptual film in 1969 called Rape. Shot mainly in close-up with a hand-held camera, the film features the single action of a small film-making crew coming upon a woman in a London park and following her through the park, along streets and into her apartment. We are the voyeur and the violator in this symbolic form of video assault. The woman speaks a foreign language and cannot communicate with the crew in English, signifying the helplessness and isolation of the victim.
According to Ono, Rape was a candid recording by cinematographer Nic Knowlton of a woman who was not a voluntary participant of this project. The film was seen as a commentary on Ono’s experience with the press due to her high-profile relationship with Lennon, criticising the lack of privacy that celebrity fetishisation leads to. In later years, it has become a textbook example of the phenomenon of “the male gaze” and how the institution of cinema has mistreated women.
The ideas in the film are theoretically interesting and some of its execution is fascinating, Rape ultimately becomes an endurance test for the viewer because of the 77-minute runtime. However, this is exactly the purpose of such cinematic theses. Lennon and Ono manage to create an atmosphere of discomfort and distress where the audience feels like they are complicit in the terrible crime.”
Like other walking works that involve following without consent, this work is problematic. Read more in this exercise.
“This is the first walk that really became a filmic soundtrack and it created a format or style that I have been experimenting with ever since. The narrative uses the device of a man offsite watching a surveillance video of a woman walking in the garden. This woman, my voice, communicates with him through the image he sees. She also refers to his postcards of the museum grounds that he sent her years before. They are trying to locate a moment in time when things went wrong between them.”
“Her piece guided spectators through the nearby landscape, starting from an exit door near the far end of the museum and near the sea itself. The soundtrack mentioned specific views and objects, but it also included intimate histories and the impression of planes overhead or a jogger from behind. The fictional and the factual alternated for the visitor who was ‘choreographed’ through the headphones.” — Bruce Ferguson
“Bradley Davies’s work is a kind of re-enactment of Vito Acconci’s seminal performance work ‘Following’ (1969). Acconci created a set of instructions which he had to follow to create a work. ‘Following’ saw the artist follow a random individual through the streets of New York until he could no longer do so, at which point he chose another individual at the location he found himself, throughout the day. However, Acconci’s photographs were created retrospectively: they were ‘staged’ rather than documentary images.
Davies’s work is, therefore, a reconstruction of a work which only ever really existed in the artist’s head, and which can only be known through images shaped and edited for our consumption subsequently. Davies’s work is also created for an age in which CCTV cameras are now endemic in urban space: walking in the city is impossible to undertake without being observed almost constantly. Britain, in particular, has more CCTV cameras per head of population than any other nation. Accordingly, any attempt to create ‘Following’ today would be quite different: the artist would be seen hundreds of times by security cameras – and his potentially threatening behavior recorded as evidence throughout the duration of the work. Davies’s work acknowledges this – our point of view being precisely that of a CCTV camera.”