WALK THE LINE

Visual artist Veerle Michiels explores a city and its social network through and with a chalk machine.

She asks people passing by to carry a chalk machine and draw a chalk line along their itinerary. The chalk machine is a small tricycle with a piece of chalk attached to the rear. If the passerby arrives at its destination, the next ‘Chinese volunteer’ carries on the chalk machine. ‘I never push it myself, Michiels says. As an observer, the artist films the full tour and traces the route with a GPS.

With ‘walk the line’ she discovers the city, their inhabitants and their stories. She tries to estimate how much a city is alive. She never knows upfront where the people will bring her and is attracted to this unpredictability. In addition to the social research, this work also lets a physical trace: a chalk line appears throughout town condemned to disappear by time and rain.

She would like to investigate more in this subject and repeat the act in several cities.