It is not the same walking the street when going than when coming back. We could think that his has to do with the mere fact of orientation and common knowledge; however, somewhere in there the doubt relies on the unseen as a common practice. Seeing the same grocery store over and over until it only stays as information more than an element of the construction of the everyday. The things that are there for us whenever and wherever we choose to acknowledge them. What would be the importance of an image we have seen a thousand times if not for going somewhere with it? And at the same time, deconstruct into 3000 pieces the routes and walks that can only be done and not seen.
It is in the moment when we decide to go for it, and go from A to B that the practice has set into motion. We may not realize it, as it is in fact something we are bound to do in this kind of lineal activities we set upon us. But, is in the recognition of the practice that we are changing the rules of the game. We play with time, direction, action and the uncertainty of the everyday practice. It is this little set of rules that one agrees upon for a specific walk. For example: choosing a flow to walk, and not stopping. Then a set of causalities will come into action. Every time I have a red light I will probably have to turn into the corner in order to keep walking. Or, what if the rules change during the game? So if I see a red light is coming in my way, then I will decrease my velocity so I can synchronize again and cross when green and so, I will not stop walking. But it is those kinds of agreements that one does with the practice that set it apart from the everyday (taking the everyday here as the quotidian of the so called mundane activities) and directs it into something else.
One can walk a city in very different ways: ‘Walking conditioned sight, and sight conditioned walking, till it seemed only the feet could see’ Robert Smithson. And it’s the agreement made with the city or surrounding which will lead the action towards an identifiable practice that will have a result, a visible product pending on the chosen resort for its representation. Marking a line in the grass, painting an area onto the floor, highlighting, showing, hiding, and all elements for the recognition of the observation of the flâneur, a hidden spectator, a silent producer of meaning that only exists as the practice is in motion.
What is it about the everyday practices that throw us into a different area other than the establishment of the routine? The walkabout as a statement of the aesthetics found between contemplation and specificity. The refusal of the meaningless and the subject as action, and as a character that portraits and is ‘living’ proof of the fulfillment of the practice.
Walkscapes, Walking as an aesthetic practice takes us back and forth in the declaration of the flâneur as something set apart from the common pedestrian. The action of walking set aside to open a way, a path, that is sometimes only walk-able towards the uncertainty of being, and only being as a statement. Ideas such as to wander (set as deambulation), the dérive, nomadic, and all the relations in between the subject and the city takes us to question how are the practices tied out together in order to exalt the everyday as to misunderstand it, or mean it, as something specific?
It is in the process, that we go back and forth from the city and us for architecture of the practice measuring for building, and building for measurements for the construction of the subject that is the flâneur, or the practices that become disciplines towards the observation of the surroundings such as the land art and the walking practices of the surrealists. Searching for meaning somewhere unidentifiable, going for the search of nothing and finding it in the absence of the spectacular, finding it in the common streets that one can walk any other regular day, however, the practice changes the surrounding into something particular and specific that will acquire meaning as it will be given as a particular significance for the action. Establishing a space as a place and vice versa.
For example in the practice of Robert Smithson: ‘Walking conditioned sight, and sight conditioned walking, till it seemed only the feet could see’ which takes us to consider how the practice revolves around a process of compromises between the space, the artist and it’s representation.