Participants’ Responses to Indeterminate Hikes+

Indeterminate Hikes are revelatory in their indeterminacy: the more indeterminate the hike, the more likely you are to discover things about yourself and your relationship to (what is most likely) your harried lifestyle. You begin to discover things about your neighborhood that have been quietly hiding in plain sight for years and years. The app reminds us that the idea of a singular natural habitat is a hoax—sometimes your natural habitat includes a public bus stop and a coffee shop, and that’s ok. Vines grow over brick buildings, birds build nests in rafters and shop letters (particularly the “O’s” and “U’s), rats inhabit luxury condominiums; there’s no distinction, there’s no line in the sand, no us and them, no natural and artificial. Every environment is a natural environment so long as you’re in it, and more importantly every environment needs to be treated as such. –Nicole Sansone, Cultural Studies graduate student, Goldsmiths University (Bushwick Open Studios hike, 2012)

Intermediate Hikes was like a surprising introduction to slow food. You suddenly found yourself wandering with a group of not-so-strangers stopping in odd places and trying to follow widely interpretable instructions. It was nighttime and therefore all the more mysterious. You felt yourself reaching out into the darkness to find answers. It lasted longer than you expected and you got to know the folks you traveled with. You were following a phone, strangely mechanical, you thought you might be contributing to a database of indeterminate experiences. Then there was the opportunity to perform the LaMonte Young artwork for a stranger in the street which I had waited for my entire life.Will Pappenheimer, artist + Associate Professor, Pace University (LA Re.Play / University of California Los Angeles hike, 2012)

The hike revolves around the doubleness of how visibility works for humans in both natural and urban settings. The app, which maps out a hike that follows an arbitrary and inefficient path between two points chosen by the user, asks us at various points to stop and perform a short action…  a combination of quasi-meditative or yogic actions, reaching out emotionally or socially… We watched other people walking on the streets with the consciousness that we formed a particular kind of group, and aware that our differences from “them” were partly visible, partly invisible. Some of them joined us, shifting the boundaries between the group and its environment in a way that mimics animal mimicry itself… the variety of emotional and social textures involved in these processes are what in fact make up an Indeterminate Hike.Rachel Haidu, Associate Professor of Art & Art History, University of Rochester (Bushwick Open Studios hike, 2012)