Tuesday, February 17, 2009

following people

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.

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