WALK OF A LIFETIME
“Walk of a Lifetime—a 60+3 minutes slow walk” is a performance enacted along 14th Street in New York; it is participative and site-specific.
The work is a PRACTICE and a PERFORMANCE at the same time.
It can be considered as a MANIFESTO of SLOWNESS.
We performed the walk with a small group of people four times during the festival, every time with different people. I introduced the walk by a short talk. I handed out a small hourglass (in Dutch ZANDLOPER, literally ‘sandwalker’) to every participant to hold during the walk.
Sixty plus three minutes puts the focus on walking minutes, thus creating slowness in the approach, and is also referring to the Dutch way of talking about people of a certain age as being “plus”—in the sense of “up”; my age determined the duration.
I lead the walk, watched time, and determined speed; we stuck together as a group, each finding his own pace. We payed attention to our rhythm; our slowness. Our speed fluctuated depending on the different circumstances. Both the walkers and the walk performed silence and slowness, opposing the usual speedy urban ambience on 14th Street. We shared the invisibility of our inner experience through the visibility of our slowness. We focused on thinking and walking at the same time, as a practice of being in two places or time-spaces at the same time. Slowness is visible. It is slow by comparison to another speed.
Of all places, 14th Street in New York represents speed, hurry, haste, watching your phone, catching a bus, a train, an appointment. We walked slowly compared to others. Compared to what we are used to. And that is quite challenging.
Sharing slowness, sharing space.
We shared slowness between us, and with the other pedestrians around us.
We claimed this silent and slow space, while keeping our thoughts to ourselves.
We tried to flow with each other. At the end we shared thoughts and experiences.
It was as if we were a vessel of slowness and silence.