All in a Day's Walk

A month-long slow food walking performance

Trans-missions

Trans-missions

Trans-missions is a walking-talking mission along the power-lines of Herefordshire. Taking place from 13-21 June 2015 as part of the Herefordshire Walking Festival, this solo, long-distance walking performance will follow the lines of electricity pylons – transmission towers – as they cross the county west-east, keeping to the rights of way that allow the pylons to remain visible at all times. I must speak to or otherwise engage with every person I meet, forming an unbroken line of transmission. I will carry a rucksack of low-energy lightbulbs, and gift one to each person who offers to engage in conversation with me – possibly about power and energy, that we use and that we possess – or who offers an inspiring message for me to pass on anonymously to the next person I meet.

Each lightbulb is an invitation to an intimate performance gathering hosted at Dragon Orchard – in the heart of the Herefordshire Big Apple cider parishes of the Marcle Ridge – at the end of the walk on the Summer Solstice. The lightbulbs brought along by those who choose to attend will be plugged in to a solar-powered art installation suspended in the trees, made by and in collaboration with the local community. The number of people I talk to and who make the commitment to come – or pass their invitation on to a friend who can – will determine the number of lightbulbs that we have for our gathering. There will be cider and apple juice and, hopefully, some music and dancing.

Trans-missions is inspired, in part, by Herefordian amateur archaeologist Alfred Watkins’s Old Straight Track (1925), contrasting the network of ancient lines he perceived in the Herefordshire landscape with these modern lines of power and what they might mean to people and place in the 21st century. This is part of my own, ongoing research into tracktivism: walking and talking in rural landscapes as an activist arts practice.

While I will be walking this ‘mission’ alone, you are warmly invited to follow my progress online throughout the festival, here or on Twitter and Instagram @hedgesprite #transmissionshfds #pylonwalkhfds.

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