Exploding Art Mimbulus Mimbletonia style

A blog by Julia Felix about experiences on the CAMS New Media in NYC and Europe study abroad program.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

MisSteps: Where the Hell am I?

In case you were wondering if I had gotten over my getting lost phase, the answer is a resounding “No.”

We were recently assigned to do a project by John called “MisSteps.” In groups of two (some people, like me, did it individually anyway) we were supposed to come up with a walk that was based on some kind of conceptual idea, action, or even drawing. As long as it wasn’t just us walking randomly, it was good.

Originally, I was going to do a sort of ADD inspired walk, where I went towards anything that seemed interesting at the time. It could be a pigeon, sparkly objects in windows, interesting music in a park, anything. In general, that’s how I get around anyway. I have a destination in mind, and then I go wandering around finding other interesting things and almost never actually end up where I was intending to.

I started off this morning with the school video camera I had checked out in-hand, but after about thirty or forty minutes, I realized that my walk was totally lame. I think the problem was that I had already walked around much of this area, and nothing seemed too new and interesting. Also, being a Saturday morning, there wasn’t much going on people-wise. Then I had left my memory card for my camera in my room, so I couldn’t even do my cubes. I decided to just turn around and go back to rethink my walk.

After an hour or so, I came up with a new idea. It was a little windy outside, so why not do a walk based on the wind? It would almost be like putting myself in the hands of fate. Seemed like something I’d like. So here were the rules:

1.Everytime I got to a place where I had to cross the street, I had to stop and see where the wind was blowing and go in that direction.
2.If the wind wasn’t blowing, I had to go straight.
3. If going straight was not an option (there is a buliding infront of me or the side of a bridge), I had to do a cube.
4. If there was a really strong gust of wind, I had to turn in that direction as soon as possible.

I also came up with another rule while I was walking, that I didn’t HAVE to go where the wind told me to go (though I generally did). Not because I was feeling lazy or scared, but because a big part of fate is deciding whether or not to take the path it leaves for you. Then you can even think, maybe fate knew I was going to not do what it told me to, so I’m really still doing what fate wanted. It’s all very complicated.

The walk went fairly well. I ended up in some odd places that I had never seen, took a lot of video of various kinds of birds, saw a guy get into a motorcycle accident (he slipped on the tram tracks, but he was alright. Always wear protective gear when riding a motorcycle!) and even got the Dutch version of Fonzie hitting on me (Heeeeeeyy!!!).

I ran into Tom and Andy on my walk, and they reminded me that it only had to last 2 to 4 hours and that I could probably stop and go home. It seemed like a good idea, so I began making my way back.

On the way, I stopped at a grocery store and in a style Eric Streeper would admire, I bought the cheapest food I could find (though I did NOT buy the Barbeque Pork flavored chips, even though they were 25 cents. It was just too creepy.)

I began walking again, but somehow ended up in a really odd part of town that I had never been to. It started to rain, but I kept walking in hopes I’d find something familiar.

Fifteen minutes later, I spotted a building that looked a lot like the Rijksmuseum, and everything around it looked like that area, so I had finally found out where I was. Then I realized that this in fact wasn’t the Rijksmuseum and that I was just hopelessly lost. It was beginning to get dark.

I kept walking, thinking I had to be near SOMETHING. Turns out I wasnt. Desperate, I finally pulled out my map (I’ve gotten lost multiple times on this trip, and have not once used a map to find my way back) and tried to find where to go. Unfortunately, the first step in finding your way back home is finding where you are on the map. Either the street I was on was too small to be on the map, or Amsterdam is just too massive to find a little tiny street which, like every street here, is just a jumble of 3 consonants, a million A’s, and a couple of J’s and K’s thrown in for fun. Luckily, I had seen some signs pointing towards Centraal Station, so I decided that was my only option.

I followed signs for a good half hour, not knowing what direction or part of town I was coming from, and by the time I got to the station, it was completely dark outside. I hopped on the tram, which was unusually full to the point where the driver started telling people to wait for the next one if they could, and rode back to Apple.

(Pictures coming soon. Just trying to post this while the internet still works)


Anonymous Mararrrr said...

This post made me think of our science studying dance. That was an awesome dance.

If you were by yourself, how did you record yourself walking that way? Did you just film what you were seeing, and then suddenly you'd turn a random direction and the camera would spin because of the wind? Or did you wear one of those things that makes the camera aim at your face, like in that reality show where they sent people into haunted houses? Or am I just totally misunderstanding the concept here?

8:49 AM  

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