FUNDED! This project was successfully funded on 21 December, 2011. Find other projects
Are You Doin' Some Stuff? A Journey into the Slow Movement Movement
I am seeking your support for the post-production of a short documentary film called “Are You Doing Some Stuff? A Journey into the Slow Movement Movement”
This film will follow the interactions and transformations of the participants who took part in The Long Walk - a public art project where I led 50 strangers on a 4-day, 45 mile walk from Puget Sound in Seattle to Snoqualmie Falls in Western Washington. Through footage of spontaneous play, shared moments of insight, and a series of interviews we will meet the participants and share in their “pedestrian road-movie.” Here the road, or trail as it were, offers them freedom, adventure, and path away from constant hum of technology and towards three-dimensional interactions with others.
I first conceived of and produced The Long Walk in 2010 as part of a collaboration called The Trails Project, commissioned by 4Culture and the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks as a way to activate the Regional Trails System. These trails weave for almost 200 miles through the cities, suburbs, farmland and forests of King County, creating a portal to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the area. After the first iteration of The Long Walk I gave filmmaker Britta Johnson video and photographs taken by the participants and asked her to edit a short “journal” of the event. You can view the results on my website http://www.susanrobb.com/robb.htm (click on The Long Walk).
Following this first success, 4Culture and the parks department commissioned another Walk for July 2011. This second iteration was a full day and 10 miles longer and included site-responsive, participatory works by eight invited artists that could be experienced by quotidian trail users and Long Walkers alike. I also embedded award-winning filmmaker Gabriel Miller (www.kindredmedia.com) to capture the group over the course of their journey.
In reviewing Gabriel's beautifully shot, oftentimes meditative, footage it’s clear something magical took place and through this documentary I will have an opportunity to explore the project and its effect on the participants. "Are You Doing Some Stuff?" will showcase the noticeable transformation that happens to the group through the simple act of taking a walk, in many cases not even an hour's car drive from their homes. It will highlight the ways that we can occupy and creatively use public space thereby underscoring its necessity in our lives. And it will follow the Walker’s creation of community and interstitial culture through what one Long Walker dubbed the "Slow Movement Movement." Away from the clamoring voices of social media and smart phones, this film points out the very real human need for uninterrupted, organic, one on one conversation that takes place slowly and over time, and demonstrates how this kind of interaction is powerful enough to change lives.
Change, be it big or small, is at the center of my practice. My work is an on-going exploration of the interrelatedness of people and place. Through video, photography, sculpture and participatory events like The Long Walk, I examine the kaleidoscopic ways in which people perceive, occupy, and alter their environment while at the same time being affected and adapting to it. Because of my interest in involving rather than addressing viewers, my work blurs the line between art and lived experience, inhabiting both the gallery and the real world.
As lived experience the premise behind The Long Walk seems simple enough - “let’s go on a walk!” However, the footage reveals people deeply invested in the project. They talk effusively about it, describe it as a “moving think tank,” an “urban vision quest,” and “the true definition of an art walk.”
Through your support of "Are You Doing Some Stuff? A Journey into the Slow Movement Movement" I can share the experience and energy of this project with an even wider audience. With your tax deductible donation I can unveil the rarely seen ritual “Fern Dance," reveal how 20 people can turn a hundred year old train depot into a musical instrument, and demonstrate the 101 ways to repair blistered feet. Your contribution will also allow me to screen the finished product and provide copies to public libraries throughout the US. Not only will the film document a temporary, socially engaged, public artwork that I truely believe speaks of its time, I hope it inspires someone else to "do some stuff" and set out on a walk of their own.
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