Walking piece details
The Deep Time Walk App is a learning tool that enables anyone with a smartphone, anywhere in the world to experience a guided narration of the evolutionary history of Earth and the interrelatedness of humans within the web of life.
Using the app’s built-in pedometer, a walker is able to explore the key evolutionary events as they walk through time. On the scale used (1 metre = 1 million years), the last 20 centimetres of the walk represents the time span of Homo Sapiens on Earth (200,000 years), with the industrial revolution represented by just 1/5th of a millimetre.
The narrative for the 4.6km walk combines science with poetry to take listeners on a journey of transformation through 4.6 billion years of ‘deep time’. The script written for the current version of the app – ‘The Fool and the Scientist’ – was recommended for a Ted Hughes Award.
The experience helps people to escape their temporal myopia and comprehend the vast age of the Earth, creating awe, wonder and a deep knowing of the place of humans within the more-than-human world. It shows the common origin of humans and helps put into context the destruction that some humans are causing to the Earth in the blink of a geological eye – resulting in the climate emergency.
At the end of the walk, a ‘What’s Next’ feature connects walkers with an online portal. This lists actions and advocacy that walkers can participate in with partner organisations such as 350.org and Transition Towns to take the next steps on their journey of transformation.
Features in the app encourage walkers to put their device in their pocket in order to stimulate sensory perception and awareness of the living world in which they are embedded.
• A mobility-assist mode is available for those not able to walk 4.6km.