Traced Movement / Movement Traced, Art Beat, Somerville, Ma, July 2012

Movement / steps / accumulation / cleansing / choice / pausing in the middle / migration / conversation

"Our life paths are all different, our literal steps we take are each different, some wider, some shorter, some faster….we all have a signature walking style that can be identified much like a fingerprint.

Please take your shoes off, and wait for Alice here, she will walk with you. Your feet will be cleaned upon completion of your walk."

Davis Square Somerville Massachusetts, traffic triangle in the middle of the square. The scene – 6 foot triangular structure holding a roll of black fabric which is rolled out in the middle of the traffic triangle, a sign welcoming viewers to participate, a large silver tub filled with silver paint. I would greet viewers as they come up, explaining that the theme for Art Beat was migration, and then inviting them to trace their movement by stepping into the paint and walking down the length of the fabric. I talk to them about how our steps are each unique, similar to our figure prints. Visitors took off their shoes leaving them on the black tray I was carrying and stepped into the paint, and walked….as we walked I talked to each of them about their migrational history – where they were from, how much they have moved / migrated. Once their walk was completed, they sat down on a small white stool and I washed their feet. I continued this pattern from 11am-5pm, talking and washing somewhere around 50 pair of feet.

Photos by Vela Phelan, Faith Johnson and Maria Molteni