Along Water Miles


A self-guided walk, in which participants moved at the same speed as the water flowing in the Calumet River, which was about 1 mile an hour or 1/3 normal walking speed. The piece was designed for a group show which focused on environmental and public health issues, in communities around the Calumet River in Chicago. Participants began at the Miller Beach Gallery and ended their walk at the headwaters of the river, one mile away. Frozen blocks of river water marked the route and showed the duration of the viewers’ journey, helping participants keep their slow pace. 

The movement of participants through the community was a gesture to physically rejoin the gallery show with the body of water and the neighborhoods that served as the show’s original inspiration. Walking at the speed of the river embodied the protracted movement of the three bodies at hand: the human body, the body of water, and the body politic.