Divergent Walks; Gridded Cities, Site-Specific Installation at The WYE, Berlin, Germany, thread, yarn, nails and tape, 26’ x 11" x 6’, 2013
Taking a selection of walks from 30 days in New York City and in Berlin, I mapped out my routes as a starting point in creating this installation of a hybrid city. These walks are the framework of this impossible topographical urban space merging New York’s grid system; coded with black tape, with Berlin’s divergent paths using blue tape.
I’m curious how a city is laid out affects the collective consciousness. Does the New York grid, which has no room for diversions, wandering, and getting lost have a parallel to the lives and thoughts of its inhabitants? Directness, efficiency, and concerns of ‘time is money’ are all key attributes to those city dwellers. Outside the new world, urban planning was built upon layers of rebuilding where the streets are an accumulation of past, present and future possibilities. These indirect paths, which encourage digressive walks, affect the collective consciousness of the people allowing for detours and wandering thoughts. How would the essence of Berlin be different if it were built on a grid system and would the consciousness of New Yorkers change by walking in diagonals and strolling in meandering paths?