Walking Threads (WT) is an ongoing project involving scholars and practitioners Paola Esposito, Ragnhild Freng Dale, Valeria Lembo, Peter Loovers and Brian Schultis – and a yarn of golden thread.
We first met in March 2014 at Performance Reflexivity, Intentionality and Collaboration: a Sourcing Within work-session, organised by anthropologist Caroline Gatt and performer Gey Pin Ang, within the framework of the Knowing From the Inside project (KFI), at the University of Aberdeen.
Following the workshop, on a sunny afternoon, we were strolling through the streets of Old Aberdeen. After visiting the Church of St Machar, Valeria took out of her bag a bundle of golden thread that she had brought along to the workshop as a prop to work with. As she unravelled the thread, she gave one end to each of us. This simple action triggered something unexpected.
We kept walking, untangling and unravelling the thread while also sensing with it. As we walked, the thread spreading among us, we found ourselves in contact with forces intersecting the thread and our bodies: the wind, gravity, our own movements. The thread channeled those forces as it carved ever-shifting geometries through the air.
To that experience of being with the thread, both playfully and thoughtfully, we gave the name ‘Walking Threads’ (WT).
Since then, the thread has continued to unravel, through our sharing of ideas and thoughts in writing, talking, drawing, singing and weaving. We have also returned to just walking with the thread along with other people, things and places.
WT is an elemental project, terrestrial as much as aerial. It is a shape-shifting project, transiting, lingering, and setting forth. It is a dynamic framework for encountering, being in and with the world.