Scripts for easy deplacements

In the framework of the Open Source Architecture module of the KHLIM Genk Media design course, students followed a workshop around the soon to be redeveloped train station of Hasselt. Loosely based on the work of the delicious Francis Alys, many elegant situationist performances, the exquisite Sophie Calle and lets not forget the delightful Christopher Nolan, I prepared three short exercises.

1: Walking in someone elses footsteps

While walking through the station you are listening to a recording of a walk through a park. (Download here; mp3, 12mb ) The paste of the walk you are hearing is steady and unbroken. Play the sound loud, step into the rhythm, and don’t stop until the file ends. Your paste is influenced several factors: are you walking alone or in a dense crowd? What surface are you walking on, how is the infrastructure, roads, traffic, buildings? What shoes are you wearing … and let’s not forget: your body. The length of your legs, do they match the ones of the original walker, can you keep up with him? what is your physical condition? Fit enough to transpose a walk through the park to a busy railway station?

download ogg/theora movie 4.8 mb
(Video doesn’t play in browser? Install VLC, right-click, save file, open in VLC)

2: Identify with others
Copy behavior of people you meet in the street. Select the people you follow by a feature they have in common. For example: follow only people with red shoes. Of every person you meet wearing red shoes, you imitate, copy, and embody one specific gesture or movement. Be like a sponge, add them up, incorporate them in your walk. Make small loops: repeat the movements, improvise and construct coherent movements out of the collaged gestures, behaviors and moves. Your final character looks nothing like the original people you imitated. You have created a new, extravagant persona, acting extraordinary, and very probably not wearing red shoes.

download ogg/theora movie 5 mb
(Video doesn’t play in browser? Install VLC, right-click, save file, open in VLC)

3 Follow blind
Walk in teams of two. One person is leading the other following with closed eyes. You don’t speak. The person leading guides the follower with th sound of him / her footsteps. In a silent place: step gentle, in a place bursting with sounds: stamp like a madman, kick against dustbins, make a noise. Experiment with speeds, proximity to passers by, smell and disorienting elements.