This project is borne out of my interest in walking and psychogeography, in particular the ways ways that we tread our paths through the countryside. The idea behind this project is to encourage people to walk whilst paying attention to their immediate surroundings, in particular to look more carefully at the surface which they are walking on. This will be encouraged by lending out some footwear which would be usually deemed inappropriate to take walks in…Silk ballet pumps and glittering heels.
Delicate pink satin ballet slippers
Glittering Four inch stilettoes from Nine West
Gold mesh sequinned and beaded pumps from Russell & Bromley
Gold two inch stiletto sandals by made in Italy by Rhapisardi
The performative element of this activity, Walking in my Shoes will alter the way the walker moves through the space of the landscape, adjusting their balance more by using their arms, balancing and tilting their bodies.
It makes a bit of a statement around some of the snobbery associated with walking (yes, you heard me correctly!)… the knowing glances of those observing the name on the front of your wellie boot to the logo on the breast of your waterproof jacket, and the disapproving looks from those who are well-kitted out towards those who walk without caring about their apparel.
The participant will choose to walk anywhere they wish, for as long as they are able, wearing my shoes. The footwear will slow the walker down, causing them to place their feet strategically, avoiding hazards, but observing them more carefully.
Each participant will receive a shoe box with a pair of the shoes they must wear, a list of instructions and a small plastic bag.
As a starting point, they are required to have a photograph taken of themselves wearing the shoes at the start of their walk. Throughout the walk they are required to take further photos of their feet (wearing the shoes) on the terrain over which they are walking. They are also asked to take any photos of interesting sights they see or observations they make on their walk. A souvenir of their walk is also required, and they must collect an object on their walk which they think is interesting or memorable.
Finally, they will photograph the shoes in their destination – at the end of the walk.
They will be given a questionnaire to fill in about their experience, with space for them to draw a small map of the walk they took.
The results from all the walkers involved in this project will be collated and shared on a WordPress site and possible website too. The shoes, found objects, photographs and questionnaires/ map drawings will be displayed as part of the MA2 Assignment Intersections and Articulations, and eventually the small maps will be used to produce a large abstract imaginary map as a culmination of the project.