Walking in circles


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Public Art

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walking as research.

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Video explanatory notes to walking in circles
Video with registration of waking (no text)

When you are lost in the desert, you might think your best option is to keep walking in a straight line, in the hope of hitting a road or some other landmark. Research has shown that you will most likely walk in a circle and end up where you started.

I wanted to experiment with getting lost by intentionally walking in circles. I chose the emptiest, most isolated landscape you can imagine: the Rub’ al Khali desert in Oman. In a dry flat valley – a wadi – I created a circle by walking the same route on seven consecutive days. The perimeter of the circle was about 3.7 kilometres, a 45 minute walk. Along the track I created chalk circles with text. You cannot see these from afar, they only appear when you are really close.

By walking for seven days in a row, I emphasise the endlessness of walking round in circles. Day after day, ending up where I began, following my own footsteps. In the empty wadi, in the punishing heat, you can’t walk away from questions.
-is it possible to get lost?
– is it a problem if you return at your starting point? If you end up where you began?
– aren’t we all walking in circles in life, all the while thinking we are going in a straight line?

My feet create the track. When I stop walking, the track will disappear and all will be gone but not lost.

Roelant Meijer

Roelant Meijer

Marŝarto23 shortlisted

Roelant Meijer (Walking artist / graphic designer) makes special publications of walks nearby and far away. The photographs, texts and design bring stories to life with an inspiring eye for details. This all evokes a deeper experience of the walks that con...

Near Oman

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