During one of our first group meetings the idea of travel was brought up during discussion. The idea sparked another slew of ideas so we took the theme and ran with it. The more we talked the more we realized in order to fully examine the everyday experience of travel (on scales both large and small), more specifically the idea of wanderlust and the journey of life, we would need to actually travel together.
We all wrote separately for a few days, creating personal essays on the simple prompt of “travel.” We worked both individually and collaboratively to combine our written work into one braided essay and work it into our visual script.
The visual aspect of the project, much like the theme itself, came early on. We all agreed on the idea of a visual narrative that would take the audience on a journey; and what better journey to invite our viewer’s on than our own?
So, after a week of talking and writing and planning, we went. We found ourselves living and experiencing the very things we had previously written about. We were four relative strangers in one small car headed toward a town some of us had never been to before. Talk about a journey. As we built our visual narrative with photographs we began to finalize writing, seeing our ideas take on meaning and relevance.
We had planned our visual narrative to be separate from our collaborative essay in the sense that the pictures would not necessarily match the words, but rather the theme and emotion. We did not expect the juxtaposition to work our so incredibly well or for it to all fit together so nicely.
At the beginning of this project we had set out to examine the every day experience of travel but we never fathomed we would get a first hand account of that experience. The project linked us together and became our journey and we hope we were able to capture some small piece of that in our video essay, Walkabout.
Mariah Gerth, Taylor Good, Nate Johnston, and France Schell are the collaborating artists for this project. They are all students at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.