The Long Walk
King County Regional Trails System
A 45-mile hike across King County reveals a geographic and social metamorphosis.
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Trekking from Seattle’s Golden Gardens Park to Snoqualmie Falls, participants connected with the region's architecture, landscapes, topography, and each other. By slowing down to the speed of footsteps, they witnessed a geographical and social metamorphosis.
At the start of the journey, each participant received a survival guide, with creative contributions by Robb and other artists, along with daily itineraries and things to know before hitting the trail. Along the route, a series of curated events and interactive activities by various collaborators spurred collective experiences and altered the social terrain. One participating artist, Eric Steen, worked with the Snoqualmie Brewery to craft a short-run beer infused with edible and medicinal plants from the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Michelle Peñaloza guided participants in the development of itinerant poems. The Illicit Jug Cartel performed during the group’s crossing of Lake Washington. And Snoqualmie councilmember Ray Mullen told the tribal story of Moon the Transformer before everyone boarded a party bus back to the city.
“Maybe it’s the passing landscape that allows just enough input, or that somehow, in looking around at our surroundings, we relax and open up,” says Robb, whose work frequently involves orchestrating temporary, site-responsive, socially engaged projects. “The simple act of walking over an extended period of time grabs hold of a primordial space inside us and something autonomous, authentic, and exciting happens.”
Susan Robb + Rodrigo Valenzuela. The Long Walk: Are You Doin’ Some Stuff, A Journey Into The Slow Movement Movement, 2012. Digital video. Regional Trails System, King County, WA. King County Public Art Collection
Susan Robb. The Long Walk, 2010-2012. Digital audio. Regional Trails System, King County, WA. King County Public Art Collection