Lines Made By Walking is one the first projects kicking off StoreFrontLab‘s 2014/15 season, City Making: a nine-month series of installations, wanderings, happenings, and conversations that look critically and optimistically at San Francisco’s future. From invisible histories to cashless transactions, from gentrification to psychogeography, and from regenerative microbes to reengineering community, City Making, explores the inner cultural, social and functional mechanisms of our city.

The artist, Ilyse Iris Magy, is a renegade researcher and practicing apocaloptimist. Her work uses subversive play to expose and explore the impacts of human systems, incorporating performance, design, video, and textiles into interventions and installations. She received an MFA in Social Practice from California College of the Arts and has a BFA in Sculpture from Washington University in St. Louis. An incurable lover of people, Ilyse co-founded Revel Art Collective, a group of makers crafting participatory events and group shows that foster spontaneous communal expression in the urban environment.

Find more from Ilyse Iris Magy at http://ilyseirismagy.com.


A walk is just one more layer, a mark, laid upon the thousands of other layers of human and geographic history on the surface of the land. Maps help to show this.
        Richard Long, Five, six, pick-up sticks…

Lines Made by Walking
Ilyse Iris Magy
September 19th-October 19th, 2014
StoreFrontLab, San Francisco

Five group excursions departing from the same site and ending at different points along the water, going counter-clockwise around the perimeter of the city: North, Northwest, Southwest, Southeast, Northeast.

On each walk we will collectively track points and moments of interest, marking them on the sidewalk with chalk and audio recording field notes. Throughout the month, I will transcribe these encounters by marking their precise locations in chalk on a map projected directly on the wall at StoreFrontLab. The completed installation will be a scaled representation of the 7 by 7 mile drawing our marks make throughout the city.

The title is a nod to the lifelong work of artist Richard Long, which began with his 1967 piece A Line Made by Walking. Like Long, we are negotiating the lived experience of walking with the traces it does and doesn’t leave behind. This alternative cartography dances between analog and digital, ephemeral and documented: the harmony and dissonance of physical and mental experiences of the urban landscape.

The operation of walking, wandering…the activity of passers-by, is transformed into points that draw totalizing and reversible lines on the map… Itself visible, it has the effect of making invisible the operation that made it possible. These fixations constitute procedures for forgetting. The trace left behind is substituted for the practice.
        Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everday Life


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