I'm curious as to how many walkers felt a connection to the images they wore. I realized rather quickly that while not technically advertising anything, my mind automatically shifted into, what image am I offering and how do I feel about it? Thus, the image of deep water concealing the front of my body felt like a definite cry for attention to our human wastefulness and excessive pilfering from a planet that has undeniably, finally, begun to wilt, melt and dry, in all the wrong places. I felt this particularly in our city of historic water wars, as we are now in the midst of another terrifying drought. As I walked with my fingers steadying the board on other side of my body, I often had the sensation that I was bearing the water forward, trying to help it along somehow. Or maybe I was gently-defiantly trying to show people something we should remember is rare. Further, with my fingers on the sides of the image, I was led into echoes of similar physical gestures, and in this case, it was as though I held a mirror up, but to what wasn't there: water. This made me wonder about how I'd have felt differently to a different image. Relatedly, I thought little about the image on my back (toy soldiers in shadow) however, simply because I couldn't see it. This is all to say that one thing I found really interesting about the performance was the collection of 100 private internal/external dialogues occupying the minds of the other performers, making a show within a show, almost. I mean that every walker had her own private internal dialogue about whatever image she "expressed," as an image in a moving stream, a walking body bearing something beautiful, or frightening, or strange, to be seen or not seen by the outer world.
The best encounter I had during my walk was with a group of homeless men who were gathered on one corner; as I approached them, I realized I could have an exchange with the three men in the same way I could have an exchange with anyone else on the street, which had a lot to do I think, with the fact that I was dispersing these odd little cards into the world, and whatever human exchange happened in that act did not reside in a have vs. have-not sensibility. It was an offering of little moments of miracle or mystery to everyone in a like way, however unlike the life circumstances of each recipient. What I mean is, I usually I get a very "stuck" feeling when encountering the homeless population here, because I don't trust my own processing of "safe/smart" vs. "empathy/involvement," and this typically involves questions of should I offer food, money, help and so on. In the performance, what I had to offer could either have been helpful or not, given the cards were a question of the imagination. I don't know if I'm feeling very naive about it, but I can say that one man, who accepted from me my curious business card with a sailboat on it, accepted it with the greatest sense of openness of anyone all day. He laughed and said something about "sailing away," and then his companion told me, "I already have one of those at my aunt's house," so I've been thinking about what the "one of those" was in his mind, which led me down a rabbit hole of wondering about memory and history and circumstance, and the choice/chance/luck of any one. In fact, I keep thinking about the electric blue rug in the basement of the house where I was born, and how that relates, I do not know, but it came of this chance intersection that made for my most meaningful, and lasting impression of the day.