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Parade, Pilgrimage, Passage: Walking on Water From Rijeka to Aomori

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Tim Ingold, in his The Perception of the Environment, writes about two themes in his concern for the environment:

First, human life is a process that involves the passage of time. Secondly, life-process is also the process of formation of the landscapes in which people have lived….a focus on the temporality of the landscape … might enable us to move beyond the sterile opposition between the naturalistic view of the landscape as a neutral, external backdrop to human activities, and the culturalistic view that every landscape is a particular cognitive or symbolic ordering of space. I argue that we should adopt …a ‘dwelling perspective,’ according to which the landscape is constituted as an enduring record of – and testimony to – the lives and works of past generations who have dwelt within it, and in so doing, have left there something of themselves. (Ingold 189)

In all three cases, Rijeka’s breakwater, Mt. Osore’s temples, stone paths, and lake, and Aomori Museum’s dark berm embankments and white walls and hallways, participants experienced this dwelling perspective. The place, the landscape (of building, water, or land) became performative: we acted in-dwelling. We enacted the geochronic dwelling in the place.

The sections of this essay should be transparent and overlap so that the one story can be read through the other. The photographs could be in parallel positions and stream across each other as fluid events in order to get a sense of their choreographic walking on water. I wish to emphasize how the local place is singularly different but the shared local geographies of paths, water, stones, and “special sites,” which are situated between land and sea, form the shared fluid states of place. Landscape, spirituality, and corporeality meet and digress through a pilgrimage of gestural vocabularies of walking. This is a parade, a pilgrimage, a passage. The overall performance of each creates a dissonant geochronic dance. In this “here” we are “with” the landscape, moving.

 

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