Walk This Way is a self- guided, experiential walk in the woods which encourages observation, contemplation, and regard for the natural world.
Through fostering an intentional encounter with nature, this project provides an opportunity for participants to relate to the natural world, and remember that they are moving through an ecological community; a more than human world.
Inspired by ideas found in walking art and the Fluxus movement, I believe the idea of walking as performance is a form of democratizing art. There are a lot of people who move through space in a very passive way, without fully considering how our surroundings impact us. This type of performance asks questions such as what does the act of moving through space mean? What does it mean to engage with what surrounds us?
The project is situated along an outdoor path in a designated Montgomery County Park, with signs and a map directing the walker. Along the path, the posted signs contain participatory prompts and contemplative questions such as, “Walk your next 20 steps as silent as a mouse...What do you hear?” and “How do you have a conversation with a creek?”
On the surface, these humorous messages create a positive, novelty experience for the person walking through. If you go deeper, though the questions and prompts are designed through the lens of de-centering the human point of view. To consider things in a way that may have never been considered. That nature exists as its own entity outside of its relations or service to humanity. The signs encourage investigation for the walker in how our interaction with the natural world influences these ideas. Through playful humor and a lighthearted approach, the posted prompts and questions widen the scope of our daily lives through an active interaction with nature, and introduce a new perspective of our place within it.
This project represents a communion between the local human and ecological community of Montgomery County. In a time of anxiety and unrest, Walk This Way serves as a safe, grounding space, free to the public, and a social-distancing-friendly art experience. Through playful humor and a lighthearted approach, the posted prompts and questions widen the scope of our daily lives through an active interaction with nature, and introduce a new perspective of our place within it.
This project is part of my inaugural residency at Montgomery County Parks, and is currently seeking funding.