to retrace the footsteps of another who walked through here once before

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Map of Chimborazo, Alexander von Humboldt

I was reading a book about the life of Humboldt. In the first few pages, the author describes him climbing Chimborazo, this enormous mountain in Ecuador. He is climbing through dangerous paths, without proper mountaineering equipment; with a notebook in his hand, writing down everything he sees, nature rebelling before his eyes as he observes, writes and makes lists of leaves, plants, types of soil, altitudes, trees; and he compares them with the mountains known to him, connecting the elements of nature in his head, making sense of the world. The outcome is the 'Naturgemälde': the image of a mountain not as a solid and singular object, but rather as a woven tapestry of elements and perceptions. What is revealed, then, is not only the mountain itself, but rather nature as an open system, a labyrinth of intertwined relations.

Throughout the day we embark on different trains of thoughts, we wander through our minds encountering ideas that come and go. This wandering takes us down various paths: it makes us open our laptop, close it, step out onto the balcony for a breath of fresh air, glance at our phone, listen to that song we had been meaning to listen to since yesterday, look out the window anxiously knowing we should get back to work quickly, water the plants instead. In the end, all that is left is the outcome of these thought processes: a call to the doctor to schedule a check-up after watching a documentary about pancreatic cancer; or a book we bought after hearing a positive review on the radio.

On our computers, these thought processes move from one window to another and from one click to the next, mixing intimacy with the news and leaving traces of our wandering – traces, that go on accumulating inadvertently: open tabs with our emails, dozens of documents to read, Netflix, foreign words in dictionaries, our Google Calendar filled with activities, videos on Instagram of our friends on the highway, screenshots https://vimeo.com/568310848/163d80a43a. What would happen if we were to curate this dispersion? If we were to focus more on the wandering and less on the outcome?

My friend Andrés lives in Ecuador. The other day, he sent me a video of Chimborazo that he recorded as he drove past it on the highway. I wanted to show it to you, but instead I found this other one that he sent me last week when he was sad and looking at the sea https://vimeo.com/581546599/aef19bd51c. I wonder if, like Humboldt, Andrés could see, in the immensity of the sea, a web of underwater relations that could give shape to his sadness.

Walking Piece (1964),Yoko Ono

This is an invitation to curate a piece, a (visual) poem; to imagine a method of preserving our trains of thought; to save the fragments and rearrange them, choose some, write them down, make them noticeable. Paul Klee says that drawing is like “taking a line for a walk”, drawing the paths in which our searches intertwine, inviting others to follow in our footsteps - which, as Yoko Ono says, can be heavy like footprints on wet mud; or invisible, like the steps we take on water. With this, I invite you to celebrate digression and to propose your own path in which we may lose ourselves.

With Love,
Daniela Silva Solórzano and Amorfatalp