#26: Walking to a Park 15 Miles Away
Walking & Flow Sate, Dread Scott Slave Rebellion Walk, Botanical by Samuel Zeller & more links!
|Bryan Formhals||Nov 11, 2019|
I use Strava to record all my longer walks because I like data, although I’m a little uneasy about where that data is going, but for now, I’m willing to make that trade off to better understand my process and have more data for my projects.
I’ve been peaking at about 15 miles in 5 hours for my walks and that feels like the perfect time frame and pace to stretch my body and imagination. It helps to be in a green setting for part of that as well, so I’ve structured my walks generally around the green spaces in New York. I work to connect multiple green spaces, and often cross a few bridges as well, mostly of the pedestrian variety which are a particular fascination of mine. More on them in the future.
What are your favorite books or photography projects about urban green spaces or pedestrian infrastructure? I’m looking for recommendations for a new curatorial project. Drop me a line.
Walking and Flow State
Stephen Segasby @SteveSegAfter walking in solitude for more than an hour or so, the metronomic pace induces a state of subconscious activity. Entering an almost ‘dream’ state the mind explores reality. #insearchofblackshuck #printmaking https://t.co/ccpxfwWTLI
That’s probably an overstatement but it’s Twitter so you’ve always gotta be pushing some overton window or another. Then again, I learned that “dromomania was a historical psychiatric diagnosis whose primary symptom was uncontrollable urge to walk or wander. Dromomania has also been referred to as travelling fugue.”
So I like most things, only in moderation, and don’t get too obsessive about it. But maybe walking is only one part of the flow state equation? Mashable digs into “How weed, coffee, and exercise can put your brain in its most productive place”
We do have plenty of information on how these three elements work in isolation. Exercise is as close to a silver bullet against ailments as we have found; it's even linked to lower cancer risk. If it came in pill form, every doctor in the world would prescribe it. The psychoactive chemical caffeine is so effective at sharpening the mind that a famous mathematician once uttered the immortal phrase "a mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems."
Given that the 18th century's great leap forward, The Enlightenment, occurred around the same time that coffee houses sprung up everywhere and we stopped drinking beer for breakfast, you could also say that humans are devices for turning coffee into modern civilization. (As little as we understand the why, we do know that it is safe to drink up to 25 cups of coffee a day.)
And cannabis? It isn't just sports pros who sing its praises. Its effect on musicians is well-documented, from jazz (Louis Armstrong was called "Satchmo" for the little satchel of weed he carried around his neck and consumed every day) through pop and rock (Bob Dylan changed Beatles music forever when he got the Fab Four high in 1964) to hip hop (too many artists to mention).
Dread Scott’s Slave Rebellion Re-enactment
Organizers expect 300 or more people of color — teachers, lawyers, artists, students, activists — to participate. Over two days, they will march 26 miles in period costumes, armed with prop machetes and muskets and chanting for their freedom.
Certainly the walk of the year in the art world. More in the New York Times.
Botanical by Samuel Zeller
From Paris to Prague, from Glasgow to Geneva, photographer Samuel Zeller captures the strange beauty of exotic plants seen through the dappled glass of greenhouses. These images reveal a rare serenity found in the heart of each city.
I had an exchange with Samuel on Twitter this week which led me to his book from Hoxton Mini Press which has put out a few books up my alley over the years.
Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards Winners Announced
It’s not only green spaces —> Blue spaces: why time spent near water is the secret of happiness
A tour I’d like to take —> The Parks That Made the Man Who Made Central Park