Score #8 by Jackie Bourke

[score base: a picture of a kitchen with yellow walls; photo and score: Jackie Bourke (2021); score text: The Art of Travel/controlled by an institutional power/ominous little warning signs/slowness is a defining feature./which we will walk together./capture the fleeting moment]

Jackie and Blake; 27 June 2021; Dublin and New York City

Jackie and I prioritised a ‘walk together’. We set out simultaneously — morning for me, afternoon for her — and looked for ‘ominous little warning signs’.

The act of actually walking was essential. Jackie on the Great South Wall at the Dublin Port. I walked over the Triborough Bridge from Queens to Manhattan. A wall over 300 years old. A bridge fewer than 100.

My walk was technically over the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, though I find it hard to adjust to the new name. The RFK or the TBTA — each name demonstrates a different kind of institutional power. The consilidated power of the individual (Robert Moses) versus the consilidated power of a dynasty (the Kennedys).

Jackie walks ‘the largest freight and passenger port in Ireland’. A port given over entirely to to ‘private sector companies operating in intensely competitive markets’. Markets that are rapidly changing through the parallel moments of a Brexit and a global pandemic.

These institutional realities were not the focus of our walk, but like the cities themselves, always in the background. Instead we looked for signs and yellows and moments of connection. We walked together considering the art of slow travel. 

In Dublin litter seemed a priority. In NYC we needed to be reminded to slow down.

Two walkers. Two cities. Two bodies of water. Two different sets of sign language. One WhatsApp conversation where we attempted to exchange the fleeting moments of our slow travel.

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