It's the tourist season, as London once again fills to capacity with crowds visiting landmarks. But InTRANSIT 2011, Kensington and Chelsea's annual festival of kinetic arts, is running a day of free, artist-led perambulations that instead of visiting existing landmarks aim to create new ones by the very act of walking.
Among those stepping out is artist Amy Sharrocks, who made a splash with her 2007 performance piece Swim, in which she guided 50 goggle-eyed volunteers across London via its lakes, lidos, ponds and pools. Think the Pied Piper, only in Speedos. Swapping wetlands for dry with new work Lost and Found, Sharrocks will once again lead a merry dance, but this time she will guide walkers around different areas of Chelsea via their mobile phones.
"My work is about journeys and movement," says Sharrocks, who will direct participants from base camp at Chelsea Theatre. "I don't script things; I just invite people to join in. But what happens if you're not navigating yourself? What are you free to notice in the world and on the walk?" Using GPS technology, Sharrocks also hopes to investigate what it means to be "in touch". "We are living an increasingly isolated experience in a vicarious and virtual world. I want to explore that remoteness."
Walking art is nothing new – William Wordsworth was an early proponent, and sculptor Richard Long famously launched his career with 1967's A Line Made with Walking – but following a recent surge in practice, Chelsea Theatre will also be hosting a symposium: Walkie Talkie. Sharrocks rejects the notion of an official movement (so to speak), but nevertheless welcomes the discussion.
All walks meet at Chelsea Theatre ( www.chelseatheatre.org.uk)