WEARABLE URBAN ROUTINE
“Wearable Urban Routine” is a series of performances facilitated by an electronic wearable device in urban environment. It is created to transform the routine of urban life into a meditative process of self-discovery. In this work, I performed over twelve days as an artist in the V2_Institute for Unstable Media Residency Program in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. My concept was inspired by the Japanese Marathon Monks, who perform Kaihōgyō by walking a 25 mile path seventeen hours each day, 100 days per year, following the exact same path with minimum supplies of food and water. Their observance is designed to distance themselves from physical and materialistic desires and to attain a heightened sense of sound and vision not perceivable to them before their activity.
In my restructuring of their practice, I wore a “higasa” hat to which was affixed a camcorder to capture my daily journey, as well as a projector to show a recording of the previous day’s performance documentation. During the two-week performance, I walked a set route through Rotterdam every day, passing by well-known scenes and landmarks. Seeing the projection of my walking video recorded from the previous day while walking, I concentrated on maintaining the same gesture and pace in the meditative process. The project illustrates an exceptionally complicated notion of autoscophy or outer body experience.
A twelve-channel video documentation of the performance was created to present the distinguishable nuances in the daily walking routine. This “soul travel” or “spirit walking” stimulated from the projector furthered my gesture of looking inward—or at one’s own image—in order to attain metaphorical enlightenment: to be in complete unity with oneself.
Wearable Urban Routine received the first TAMSL/DSL Artist Residency Award. It was made possible by the support from V2_Institute for the Unstable Media and Tsinghua Art & Science Media Laboratory.