Lines Made by Walking (in-progress)
A line can connect two points, or two people—by definition it implies an extension of space, both a ‘here’ and a ‘there’, but its reach is ultimately two-dimensional and flat. During the first six months of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, we conducted fieldwork over the video conferencing app Zoom, taking this platform as both our medium of communication and as our fieldwork site.
As we wrestled with the phenomenological questions of who ‘we’ were on Zoom, and tried to physically and emotionally locate our own bodies in relation to the screen, we kept returning to the adjective ‘flattened’ to describe our lived experiences over Zoom. Where and how did we exist in space if our attention was focused primarily on a grid of faces on a screen?
We became interested in our perceptions of the three-dimensional spaces of (and through) the screen, what it would mean to see these not just as static spaces in the background, but as moving spaces, foregrounded as subject. Updating sculptor Richard Long’s seminal land-art and conceptual piece, ‘A Line Made by Walking’ (1967), consisting of a photographic documentation of the line he created by trampling over a field of grass in Wiltshire, England, we have been experimenting with breaking apart the frames of our screens through a series of simultaneous Zoom-walks, cameras facing outwards, through our respective neighborhoods in Brooklyn, New York and Liverpool, England.