Installation Proposal

Runic Walking

The rules for Runic walking are quite simple.  Beginning with a map, mark out the shape of a rune.  In some cases, the starting point will be your home.  On others, the lay of the land calls out for a given shape at that place - and only at that place. 

When walking the runes, you are open: capture every moment.  Are you looking only for the given runic correspondences?  Or are you looking?

Each morning in December, when the weather has turned cold enough that I don't ride my bike to work, I wait for the bus in front of a barber shop.  Penn avenue is a busy road, but at 6am, it is still dark and filled more with walkers than with cars.  Who are these walkers?  I'll leave that for the police records and my own imagination.  Last year, a large block building was demolished, now freeing the road for several miles along the line towards the eastern hills of Pittsburgh.  I can see the bus when it first make a turn out from the semi-circle station out in East Liberty.  On bitter cold days, I see that turn in many things - milk vans, school transit or long distance drivers pulling to the strip.

Milk vans?  there is that one most special song by Billy Bragg, who sings about the Milk man of human kindness.  A mytho-poetic figure, cross between the piped piper, Bombadil and fool.

Then now, this morning, down the line of Penn avenue, the sky is filled with crows.  The sky may fill with crows in summer, and I never see it as I never wait around for buses in the summer.  A hundred crows, or maybe more.  I don't know where they gather from - from rooks and crannies, nooks and crevices out by Frick park.  I certainly have no guesses where they go to.  All I know is that they fly along the central line towards the merging of our rivers.

The crow, the raven - harsh voiced birds of Odin's memory.  A wave of fate.  This seems to me a good place to begin a rune walk. Video, or paper.  Sound or silence.

A rune shaped like a capital L would begin at point A.  Walk always on the left side of the road:  walk down until point B.  Cross the first street and continue down the second, still walking on the left side.  Reach the end point C and cross, then turn to face Point B and walk - now on the opposite side of the street, but hanging on the left side.  Then before reaching point B - remembering to stay always on the left, turn and head back towards the start.  Cross the first street and end at the beginning, having outlined and filled the runic shape. 

Always walk on the left - unless you walk on the right, in which case never walk upon the left.