Drag and Drop // David Helbich

This morning I met David Helbich and Shila Anaraki for breakfast at Yumm, freshly in from Brussels, to discuss their event for Still Walking: ‘Drag and Drop’. The drag part refers to you being guided while the drop part means that at some point on the walk, you will be dropped off to await collection by the next passing group. What this allows is a still, reflective moment in a context that rarely happens: standing still in an urban context. I experimented with this on Wednesday (see my blog post) and I regularly find it surprising that literally doing nothing can create such a switch in our feeling and perception of the world. The Drag and Drop principle allows this fragile moment to take place under the carefully choreographed guidance of the two performers.

I’m very interested in the form of a guided tour, and what it means to be in the care of a guide for the duration of the walk. The information content should be accurate and engaging, but the group should cross the road carefully and not block the pavement en route, and many other facors apply. Because we nearly never are in a ‘guided tour’ situation, it’s easy to get it wrong while it happens. For this walk, the event deliberately introduces a stark moment, switching from a dynamic social group experience to an instant independent moment. In writing, that seems straightforward but the reality is that standing still is laden with expectations, anticipation and possibly even friction.

David and Shila are at this moment combing the city for a location for this walk and will be considerate to exactly how people will feel for the few minutes they will be static. For most of the next 24 hours they will be plotting the grid of streets, the route and the moments of exchange and all that it entails. It helps that David is a music composer, for this needs to be a precise experience. If you think you’ld like to experience this walk, please book here.

So where will all of this happen? Certainly somewhere in the city centre but the exact location will be announced later this afternoon (Friday) and if you book a ticket (which is free) you will tonight be emailed the location to meet. We’re expecting 20 – 30 people to be present, and before the two parties set out the procedure will be fully explained. Afterwards, you’ll be invited to comment and contribute to a discussion at a nearby café or bar.

Look forward to seeing you there!

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