Walk Walk Dance 2020, Canada, Montreal

Enchanting the post-COVID city

If COVID has proven anything, it’s that cities need to become more pedestrian friendly. Created for and during the pandemic, Walk Walk Dance is a pathway of music-making lines painted on the street. It’s simple: step, jump, roll or dance on the lines to trigger music. Play with physical distancing rules, one, two, three steps at a time.

Created for and during the pandemic, Walk Walk Dance is a series of music-making lines painted on the street. It’s simple: step, jump, roll or dance on the lines to trigger music. This project was designed to be accessible to everyone, whether they are on foot or on wheels. Stepping on a single line triggers notes that play either once (to stimulate moving and re-triggering) or on a loop (to encourage stopping by keeping one foot on a line). The lines are simply drawn, painted or taped on the ground and their color corresponds to different sets of instruments. Motion sensors, light and sound systems are all hidden in a plug & play modular system of protective cases and flower beds, that space out each play section by 6 feet. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ In the pandemic early days, many of Daily tous les jours’ projects were illegal. Were we doomed to never be together again in the physical world? We started an internal research project, reading and interviewing peers and collaborators. Titled “Better Together: Reflexions for Pandemic Times”, this work reaffirmed our knowledge that informal connections are vital for healthy cities, especially in times of crisis requiring collaboration between people who don’t know each other. Cities are filled with lines on the ground to enforce social distancing rules, telling us where to stand and where not to. Gia Kourlas said in an interview with the New-York Times: “Your partner is a stranger, and the sidewalk is a stage… social distancing isn’t just about honoring space; it’s also about celebrating it.” Can we use these lines as a starting point to fill the negative space between us with something positive? Naturally, Daily turned to music and dance. Walk Walk Dance was born.

https://vimeo.com/439045274

https://www.dailytouslesjours.com/en/work/walk-walk-dance


Details

Team members : Stu Wershof, Michael Baker, Anne Ouellette, Rebecca Taylor, Pierre Thirion, Eva Schindling, Éric Villeneuve,

Project leader(s) : Mouna Andraos, Melissa Mongiat

Company : Daily tous les jours

Sponsors : The Bentway Conservancy, SODEC, Montreal’s Place des arts.

Descriptions

Technical concept : Walk Walk Dance was designed for struggling cities that need to quickly revive their public spaces despite COVID. Created for temporary displays, the installation adapts to all pathways and streets, making it easy to deploy in diverse urban settings. The project can also be used to encourage different types of circulation. Walk Walk Dance is part of Daily tous les jours’ ongoing research on the art of walking, where people reconnect with their body, their surroundings, and with each other. We believe in making the act of walking a shared experience, an everyday art piece. In June of 2020, Daily installed a cardboard prototype on a Montreal street to test live interaction with the public. Colored stainless steel enclosures are now in production.

Visual concept : Walk Walk Dance was designed to promote walking and encourage people to engage freely: some walk next to the lines, intrigued by the music; others step on them without stopping; most take a minute or two to explore the melodies; and some start to dance, channeling the missing street parties for a moment. The current sanitary crisis has proven how important it is for people who don't know each other to connect in order to make healthy cities. We see our work as a premise for interaction between strangers through joy. We believe in creating joyful public art. Joy allows us to connect more easily with our neighbours, building trust. Trust builds strong communities. And strong communities can do anything.

Credits

Daily tous les jours

Daily tous les jours

Daily tous les jours

Daily tous les jours

Daily tous les jours