Sunday, February 23, 2020

Minor Walk Manifesto

This is an ongoing manifesto project that I began in 2019, as part of an Art Walk Projects commission for Portobello. 

It was extended as part of a Historic Environment Scotland symposium held at Duff House where the participants shared a minor walk. 

The minor walk is a very short or gentle walk. 

This painted version was first exhibited in the Travelling Gallery in 2019. The text is extended below.

a minor walk measures up for the chronically ill: it is also known as a VSW (Very Short Walk)

minor walks are the domain of the walking constrained

a walk is never minor because of distance alone

remember, we begin and end our lives as minor walkers

the minor walk lacks purpose compared to the standard walk and yet, for some, it is both comfort and necessity

the minor walk is typically made in relationship to a single place, it rarely traverse multiple locations

the minor walk tos-and-fros are as far apart as the lines of high and low tide

it is almost unheard of for a minor walk to encompass a summit – even a slope is considered extreme

most school runs are minor walks done in a car

many minor walks feature a bench or seat as their highpoint

many minor walks include a single tree observed through the changing seasons

weeds are woods in the microtonal ecology of a minor walk

a minor walk is ideal for those few eccentrics who make pets of lobsters

such as their limits are, such are their walks

a minor walk is always made at    our    own    pace

in theory a mountain could be conquered by a succession of minor walks –
in practice the lack of bothies makes this unlikely

a minor walk may be a great adventure

a minor walk is a wander in which distance never gets out of hand

love affairs have begun on minor walks

minor walks enhance city streets

a traditional minor walk; going to the well to fetch water

the distance between bus stops should never be greater than a minor walk

the minor walker’s motto: one block at a time

a minor walk is a back of the envelope affair

in winter the sun goes for a minor walk across the horizon

most minor walks take place at the same time every day

you shouldn’t require special footwear to do a minor walk

a charity minor walk, how does that work?

some small dogs are minor walkers, all cats are

Christ made a minor walk carrying a cross

cricket is a game that involves a series of rapid minor walks

a minor walk is a wee wee dauner

the Ur-minor walk led from the high tide line to the low tide line
and back again

on a minor walk we do not flow, we seep

a minor walk in a wildflower garden, following bees

a minor walk counting all the wind-turbines that can be seen

pavement cracks and kerbs are the scree and crags of minor walks

on a minor walk each footprint leaves a momentary shadow

many minor walkers return with a pint of milk in their hand

doing the recycling added a new task to menu of minor walks

what scale should a map be made at to best represent a minor walk?

minor walks are portrait format, not landscape

a minor walk can open great passages of air and sky

minor walks will never feature in the Olympics

the ant makes a minor walk across page 42 and onto page 43

in the House of Commons members of parliament take a minor walk
through the lobbies of power

the minor walk is a small step in the evolution of cultural walking
paradoxically it extends the art of walking

a minor walk estimating the number of windflower turbines that can be seen on the horizon

a minor walk scattering wildflower seeds across the rough of a golf course

a minor walk going to and from on a bridge until a problem is solved

a minor walk through a garden that was imagined but has never existed

a minor walk through a landed estate imagining it rewilded

a minor walk in which the rills of a burn are imaged as waterfalls

a minor walk changing the hand in which hand you hold a walking stick each time your thoughts change

a minor walk noting the changing seasons

a minor walk confirming a decision taken with reluctance

a minor walk on a still day holding a lit candle

a minor walk coming as close to oyster catchers as they will allow

a minor walk humming a bothy ballad

a minor walk watching the dew slowly soak your shoes

a minor walk with your eyes closed

a minor walk recalling the names and tastes of all of the whisky’s you have drunk

a minor walk from conifer to evergreen, and repeat

minor walks are less desire lines, more concessions to reality

flaneurs produce novels
minor walkers jot down occasional aphorisms

minor walkers are humble walkers

the solemnity of a minor walk round and round a cloister

in the ideal city the grocer is never more than a minor walk away from one’s front door

many minor walks revolve around small tasks

‘how did it all begin? she took me on a minor walk, and we lay together beneath a birch…’

people who have to carefully calculate which bus stop to descend at in order to manage their energy are experts in minor walks

in this painting of a minor walk done in the manner of Caspar David Friedrich, the traffic bollard plays the role of the mountaintop

the parables of minor walking feature many heroic snails and tortoises

the origins of the minor walk are agrarian, while hikes can be traced back to hunter-gathering

my walk home from where the school bus dropped me at the foot of the track to my front door is a minor walk that I can recall in terms of every step

to the end of the beach and back is a typical long minor walk across the sand to the sea is a typical short minor walk 

GF Dutton’s wilding garden was composed as a series of minor paths

for the chronically ill every walk is deliberate and planned around a network of minor paths and available forms of transport

distance can be measured by knowledge and awareness as much as by feet and miles

we all exist in bubble worlds – it isn’t walking fast that pops them

a minor walker is more likely to stop off for a cup of tea then carry a thermos

minor walks change the horizon a chimney pot at a time

you can notice as much on a minor walk as a hike, but the field notes will differ

the political demands of the minor walk are radically minor: more benches, more street flora, more public transport, more parks

‘a minor path is made by walking’ (Alan Macpherson)
a minor walk is made by pausing 

each minor walk salutes the day

These posts are published as part of a year-long artist in residence, funded by Paths for All.

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