Walk Walk Dance

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Client

Location: Montreal, QC, Canada

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $100,000

Project Team

Directors

Mouna Andraos & Melissa Mongiat,

Daily tous les jours

Creative team

Anne Ouellette, Michael Baker, Pierre Thirion, Rebecca Taylor

Daily tous les jours

Technological Direction

Eva Schindling

Daily tous les jours

Production

Stu Wershof

Daily tous les jours

Technical Direction

Éric Villeneuve

Daily tous les jours

Video

Victorine Yok-Thot Sentilhes

Powered with

Arduino

Thank you

Daily’s team: Cécile, Flo, Hugo, Juliette, Justine, Noémie. Antoine T-C. SODEC

Overview

Make music with your feet, 6 feet apart. Created during the pandemic, for the post-covid city, Walk Walk Dance is an interactive pathway of lines that trigger different musical patterns, transforming the act of walking (or waiting in line) into a collaborative performance. Play with physical distancing rules, one, two, three steps at a time. Because every city needs a dance strategy.

DESCRIPTION
A pathway invites pedestrians to make music with their feet, 6 feet apart. Sets of lines trigger different musical partitions, transforming the act of walking (or waiting in line) into a collaborative performance.

All the equipment is enclosed in a chain of boxes and planters, adapting to any street slope, weighted down with local plants.
Lines are simply drawn, painted or taped, not containing any technology. Their color represents different sets of instruments and invites people to move with the music they trigger. They can also be designed to encourage different types of circulation.

Step on a single line and trigger notes that play either:
-once, stimulating moving, traversing, re-triggering;
-on a loop, encouraging stopping, keeping one foot on a line.

Goals

Our studio creates collective experiences for public spaces. Our work allows for informal connections in the city, igniting a sense of what is possible when people get together.

In the pandemic early days, many of our 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.

We looked outside. Our city was 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, we turned to music and dance. Walk Walk Dance was born.

Process

This project is accessible on foot or on wheels. It is designed for struggling cities that need to quickly revive their public spaces despite COVID. As a plug & play installation for temporary displays, the project adapts to all pathways and streets, making it easy to deploy in diverse urban settings.

In June of 2020 we installed a cardboard prototype on a Montreal street to test live interaction with the public. Colored stainless steel enclosures will be presented this summer at the Bentway in Toronto and at Montreal’s Place des Arts.

HIGHLIGHTS
-Touchless
-6 feet between play sections
-All tech components are in protective cases spaced by a series of planters
-Chained modules adapts easily to slope variations
-Quick installation, anchoring with local plants
-Can be used to encourage different types of circulation.

Additional Information

Daily is currently exploring 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. If COVID has proven anything, it’s that cities need to become more social and pedestrian friendly. 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.