Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I am going to do something that has been done many times before, a basic situationist practice; I am going to follow people. I Just read a piece of Baudrillards fatal strategies, which spoke about how the act of following acted as a reduction of the followed, a banalization of the actions of the other.
So back to following people, the basic action of letting an arbitrary other control your destination and experience, allows you for a moment to part from the self and become as baudrillard says “the shadow” of the other. It is not a meeting, which is sought, but a ghostlike experience of place and time, an experience, which belongs to someone else, though they are not necessarily focused on experience.
I will have to do this project partly Amsterdam style, meaning on the bicycle, who will I follow first? The first person I see wearing green. When they stop I will stop, observe and repeat.
I sat on a bench in the Vondelpark, where the bicycles could go in two different directions. I was nervous, watching closely for people who were wearing green, for people who were biking alone. I followed a woman with green gloves. She parked her bike and went into Hema. She came out and then went into the drugstore. I waited for her for a half hour but she did not come out. I found a guy with a green hat and followed him; I had to change my speed quite often to pace with him. He was swinging his arms and singing. He kept turning around. He caught me. I followed a woman with a green coat back to her apartment. I filmed it from across the canal. I followed a couple, they went in a restaurant. I filmed through the window until they saw me. I followed a woman in a green jacket, into the cigarette store where she bought gum, then went into Stadtschouwberg where Angels in America was playing. The girl in a green hat got on a tram. The boy in a green hat went into Melkweg, where I waited for a long time for a couple with a green umbrella. They stopped in front of this bar and then turned around I went in for a drink.
It is true that people become quickly aware of your presence. I feel a rush as I follow, butterflies in my stomach, nerves tight senses heightened. Should I speed up or slow down? Who are they? Where are they going? What are they doing? Nothing important. Moving from place to place, going home, shopping, drinking. And I am doing the ultimate in nothingness, by arbitrarily following someone.
Is someone following me? Why are they following me? Do they want something from me? I want nothing except my own joyful reduction and reconstruction. I am following you, but I do not desire you in anyway other than the superfluous motion. But isn’t it nice for once to be at the full center, someone watching your every move.
Posted by Tess Walkovski at 3:32 PM