A Walk to the Edge

by Alisa Oleva

This audio walk is a walk to the edge. Edge of your city/town/village/memories/visions. I remember walking in the center of London and overhearing a tired kid asking his parents: Where does this city end? Does it end when you stop walking? Does it end when you are home? Does it end when you reach the ring-road? 

You can listen to it as you set off on your own walk to the edge. Or as you stay at home or go to bed and imagine that walk to the edge you will later undertake. 

music used: Eliane Radigue – Adnos 

Go outside. Close the door. Listen to it closing. Listen to the sounds you leave behind that
door.

Are you taking a lift to go out? Or some stairs? How many steps are there? Do you
remember?

This walk is a walk to the edge. Edge of your city/town/village/memories/visions. I remember
walking in the center of London and overhearing a tired kid asking his parents: Where does
this city end? Does it end when you stop walking? Does it end when you are home? Does it
end when you reach the ring-road?


I imagine you are outside by now and you started walking. Did you take your usual path?
Stop for a while. We will start with some ‘eyes cleaning’ exercises. Find a place where you
are comfortable and can be with your eyes closed for a bit.


Close your eyes. Listen to the sounds around you. What is the furthest sound you can hear?
And the closest. Move between those two. How does the edge sound? What is the sound of
the horizon? What will the soundscape be when you reach the edge. Imagine it. I will be
quiet for several minutes to let you listen.

Now open your eyes. Let’s clean it even more now that they’ve rested. look up to the sky.
This is how we will clean our eyes. Just let them watch the blue sky / or the clouds / or let the
rain drop in them if it is raining. This is something you can keep with you – try to look at the
sky for several minutes each day to keep your eyes clean.

Now we are ready to set off. Did you decide where you will walk? Or you will just keep
walking until you reach the edge? Have a feel – decide on your strategy/destination/direction.
You can change it as you walk. But you will try and reach the edge.


In the lockdown I found it hard that we had to be inside for so long and that the feeling of the
horizon has shrinked. The window was the only portal. I would look out of the window for
hours and used to draw the skyline I could see. I wanted to walk to every building I saw in
the distance. I still do.


What is the furthest point/building/spot you can see if you look far? Walk to it. Then choose
another furthest spot and walk there. Would that help you reach the edge?
Where does the city end and something else begins? Where does one vision end and
another begins? What will you see when you will reach the edge? Will the horizon get
closer?

I will not walk with you to the edge. Each of us will have our own journey there. It will take us
a different time to get there. But when you do – stay still for a while facing outside, to the
edge. Then turn back and look to where you came from. Take one photo facing out and one
photo facing in.


Find something around you that you can take back home – an object from the edge of the
city. Place that object at the window seal when you return home.

When you next time hold that object in your hands, look out of your window and towards the
edge of the city and think of this walk.

And for now – keep walking. Keep walking to the edge, keep walking until you get there.
Keep walking until you know you are there and the horizon opens. I will leave you here so
you can do the rest of the journey on your own. Goodbye.

Now based in London, Alisa Oleva was born in Moscow in 1989. She treats the city as her studio and urban life as material, to consider issues of urban choreography and urban archeology, traces and surfaces, borders and inventories, intervals and silences, passages and cracks. Her projects have manifested as a series of interactive situations, performances, movements scores, personal and intimate encounters, parkour, walkshops, and audio walks. https://www.olevaalisa.com/

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