Following from my previous post about walking to work, I kindly asked my boyfriend, James, to walk backwards for me. Hesitant at first, but I convinced him and told him I just wanted him to complete the walk from my car and up the stairs to my bedroom, the same as my preliminary test I first did.
(I actually think its really funny at 0:30 seconds the eerie background tv music that sounds like its building up suspense)
1. Did you observe something new in your surroundings?
This time I did not personally get to experience the walk but it was interesting how at the beginning the walk was a little funny to watch and I got the giggles, but then I started to reflect on how I had to concentrate so hard the first time I completed the walk. He also had a the same temporal pace that I had. James said that he was definitely focusing on watching his step which was similiar to how I felt when I did it. I wonder if he progressed to more elaborate backwards walk whether he would start to become more comfortable and notice more things.
2. Do you feel any health benefits?
James said he didn’t really feel anything different.
3. Were there any social/physical challenges?
Socially it was difficult to remember to concentrate on the activity and not just laugh at how silly it looked. And physically I don’t think there was much challenge as he walks those stairs all the time and is quite familiar with them.
4. Was this too easy and comfortable for you?
It wasn’t necessarily easy but it wasn’t hard. I think James could really progress to a backwards walk on a flat surface in public.
5. What’s the next plan to scale it up?
I think it could be really interesting for James to complete another level of backwards walking and see what different or similar observations he has to myself. Or better yet these past activities have reminded myself of flash mobs. Flash mobs being a mass gathering of an unanticipated activity, except of those involved. Combing the idea of flash mobs and Kaprow’s idea of a unique Happening occurring due to an individuals personal experience, I think it could be really interesting if there was a whole mass of people walking backwards. And not only to record their own personal experiences but also to observe the reactions of the general society… Could be quite the interesting experiment.