The master and the puppet

The Walking Project explores the tension between freedom and rules on several levels. Immediately apparent to the observer is that a number of rules are created to direct the walker in each walk. In following these rules, the walker receives an experience of being in the city (often for the first time) and enjoying and discovering its landscape, environment, history and culture, but is unable to fully commit to this experience as she is confined to a set of (self-) imposed rules.

However, this juxtaposition of walking as a symbol of freedom, discovery and independence with the enforcement of rules also helps to illustrate the more fundamental human desire to be both free and submissive.

Our life is continuously interrupted by circumstances and obstacles beyond our control which prevent us to be and act in a certain way. Whether simple or complex, these boundaries act as physical, psychological and social constraints to our bodies and mind: Health, age, sex, gender, race, nature, climate, politics, social regimes, culture, religion, technology all play a vital role in the way we think, feel and behave.

On the other hand, we live in times offering us more options than ever before, from the very mundane to the most existential of whether or not to live. Whilst seeking this freedom, we also feel overwhelmed by the exorbitance of choices and increasingly trapped by our own past. Looking for ways to reduce this complexity, we seek and need rules imposed by others or ourselves.