Walking in Örö

Having the opportunity to spend a week, or actually ten days on Örö, I wanted to explore some new ideas, besides continuing my usual routines. These include visiting The Pine Next Door daily while I am on the island, and talking to or with the pine on the western shore at least once during each trip. This time I recorded the seventh and last Tell it to the Pine (Tala om det för tallen), in Swedish, as usual. The new thing I wanted to explore, which does not really fit into my current project Meetings with Remarkable and Unremarkable Trees, is not really new, but a further development of something I explored in Nida in September 2017, namely walking (see Walking in Nida). And doing that with an action camera on my forehead. The long road through the island on Örö, from south to north or north to south, covered in cobble stones and built in Russian times is called Pitkä ikävä, a Finnish name that translates as the long boredom and also the long yearning. The road is long and almost straight and uncomfortable to walk on at times, but also inviting to record on video, because it traverses the whole island. Therefore I have now recorded five walks from south to north and back, in order to combine them somehow, perhaps not in a grid as I did in Nida, but as a diptych with images inserted into each other. How that will work I do not know yet, but at least I have enough material. And because the half an hour walk is hard to time to be of equal length both ways, I quickly discovered I should begin and end each walk by standing still for a while. Here are the first and last images from my first walk from north to south.


And the first and last from south to north as well, which I actually began with, because the residency house is near the southern tip.


During my fifth walk on a sunny windy day, the same images look rather different:



I am especially happy with the end of the last walk towards the north, because the video image has the horizon almost in balance, by accident. Because the camera is on my forehead I have no idea if it is sliding to either side, or what the image looks like while I walk. Something to experiment with in the future…

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