4 min read

Walking to 36 Views of the Water in New York and Minnesota

Coney Island, New York, March 23, 2021, 4:12pm

Time is definitely slowing down, that’s my conclusion as of today. Of course, this is completely subjective, and I have no way to verify my hunch. But my generally feeling is that the pandemic has caused a collective time disorientation that we’re all experiencing in unique ways.

For others, time could speeding up. How many different speeds are involved in this scenario? I have no idea. How do we ever agree to meet at the same time? I guess we’re all unified in our agreement about the 24 hour clock, but I think now is a good time to do away with that as well. Let’s fully disrupt time!

Why not move to a four day work week? I think remote work culture will usher in more asynchronous work arrangements as well. I’ve always felt it very strange that we think everyone works best from 9-6 PM. Our productivity is largely regulated by our chronotypes, at least that’s my theory.

I applaud everyone for hanging in there, however you’re experiencing time.

Beaver Island Trail Head, Saint Cloud, MN, March 29, 2021, 3:26pm

It’s been a month since I moved from NYC to Saint Cloud, but it feels like a lifetime already. It’s a strange shock to the memory to comeback to a city you think you know but then realize you really have no idea. It’ll take time to settle into a new groove but I am already excited about some of the possibilities. Experiencing the city on foot has been a revelation, even in just a few short weeks. I have made several walks and too many photos already. It’ll take a bit to process and synthesize it all.

I’ve been fascinated by time based projects the last few years and knew I wanted to start incorporating some ideas into my series and projects. So I’ve tried a few simple experiments that I know I can execute to give me some results to think about. It’s been interesting, and I’m realizing giving myself shorter assignments is a good way to move forward, and push myself.

I had two rolls of Portra 35mm film left that I wanted to use. My idea was to expose one full roll during a Coney Island walk and then one during a Minnesota walk, using water as a connecting theme. I like the idea of implementing constraints on the number of images produced. It’s disruptive to the way I normally work, and have used this strategy in a few other projects I’ll be sharing soon.

36 Views of The Atlantic Ocean from Coney Island between 2:23 and 6:52 PM on March 23, 2021

Ink and paper drawing of Coney Island walk based on Strava Map.

36 Views of the Mississippi River from Saint Cloud between 2:33 and 5:10PM on March 29, 2021

Ink and paper drawing of Saint Cloud walk based on Strava Map.

The other component to this experiment is the mapping. I have each photograph mapped with the specific time of exposure but I haven’t figured out how to incorporate that into the presentation, and maybe it doesn’t matter.

I have been creating the pen and paper interpretations of my mapped walks for the last year, starting with the first weeks of the pandemic. At this point, it’s part of how I process the data from each walk. It helps me look at the maps and walks in a new way. And there are always new ideas emerging from the process.

I’m an artist and marketing strategist based in Minneapolis. This is my newsletter on art, walking, urbanism and mindfulness.

Each issue, I share new work from my projects and try to make connections between ideas, articles and people that fascinate me. You can email me at info@bryanformhals.com or follow me on Instagram or Threads.