gistofthegrist

one-off at the wrist

Getting from A to B

As a resting [this last two weeks, hence the time to start the blogs] ultra-runner [after my first attempt at a 24 hour race] and Maths graduate with an interest in everything esoteric, I have been thinking a lot this week about the marks we make/leave in the landscape. Yesterday I was thinking about man-made structures today I was thinking more about the less obvious/easily erased marks [or indeed completely abstract ‘marks’] made by simply travelling through/over. Particularly along ‘straight’ lines [obviously an imprecise notion on an oblate sphere].

I have always been interested in pilgrimage/expedition/exodus/the military retreat i.e. purposeful journeys to or from and usually arguably along the shortest line between ‘here’ and ‘there’. [aside: what would the literal/geographical/physical world wide web of  ‘ley lines’ of the most oft taken of these journeys look like?] But at the same time interested in the artistic dérive, the flâneur‘s stroll, the dissociative fugue walk i.e. less direct travels.

I have been fascinated today reading of the exploits of the first person to walk around the world [though these ‘non-stop around the world’ records are always subject to debate given that our globe is covered with so much water]. I have vivid memories of watching Disney’s The Incredible Journey as a youngster at the local cinema’s Saturday morning Kid’s Club rerun of old movies, perhaps this is where my passion for maps and journeys came from?

Kenneth Martin, chance and  order, screenprint, 1979

When these journeys are mapped the full abstract beauty of infographics becomes visible, be it the pattern maps of aircraft flight routes, trafficking of shopping malls, shortcut desire paths across parks, interesting possible ways of getting from A to B across the globe [the longest straight line journey possible on land]. Afterall as humans we are ‘programmed’ to seek out and explore patterns, either real or imaginary.

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