‘A lovely idea. I hope it becomes a genre.’ – Stuart Brand, The Long Now Foundation
Early on the 21st June 2005, Ohad Fishof set out to walk very slowly across London Bridge.
‘Set against the varying speeds and rhythms of urban life – pedestrians, cars, trains, airplanes, water, clouds, birds, boats and buildings – a Slow Walk is a simple way of giving form to the passing of time. Slowing down a natural, instinctive action such as walking exposes its mechanical depths and inherent dramas. It magnifies slight changes. As in the slow motion shots of a blooming flower in wildlife documentaries, it allows ones attention to shift, enabling the rediscovery of the slow, invisible changes behind the fast visible ones. Also, I like to think of Slow Walk as a possible futuristic sport – extreme sport in reverse.’
Fishof proposed this, his first in a projected series of slow walks, as a fund raiser for Longplayer, drawing on, and highlighting, an affinity between the two projects.
‘People run or cycle for charities and causes. I thought it suitable to connect the Slow Walk project to other cultural activities that deal with long-term thinking – of which Longplayer is a supreme example.’
As a slow take on the ‘sponsored walk’ and ‘guess the weight of the cake’, the public were invited to wager five pounds on an estimate for the exact duration of Fishof’s walk.He completed the walk in 9 hours, 43 minutes and 25 seconds.
Ohad Fishof is an artist and musician, working in a diverse range of fields including sound, dance, video, performance and writing. Born in Jerusalem in 1970, Fishof began his artistic career in the mid-Eighties as the leader of the experimental pop band The Top Hat Carriers. He later moved on to compose music for dance, performance and art installations, while at the same time expanding his artistic endeavors to other media.
In the early Nineties Fishof relocated to London. In 1997 he received an MA in choreography from Laban Centre London, where he later became a visiting lecturer. Since then, his work in dance and performance, as well as his sound installations, have been presented in England, Japan, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, Switzerland, Israel and at the 2001 Venice Biennale in Italy (with Uri Katzenstein). Fishof moved back to Israel in 2003. He lives and works in Tel Aviv and teaches at the Beit Berl Art college. There is more about Fishof here.