'The Bare Foot Park' – A relaxful journey in time and space.
'The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground'. - a Zen saying
The essence of the Project is to touch 'oneself' and open to the endless diversity of existence, both the natural and the one created by man. An important aspect of the Project is the relation between the natural and what has been created by man. To establish this relation we must experience and become aware of the equivalent value of the elements used in the Project but at the same time we must feel their diversity and individuality. What our body needs is a kind of a sensory shock, due to living in a highly advanced technological civilisation which isolates a number of human senses from the human being alone.
We, terrestrials, must learn to respect the Earth we walk on, because our existence, along with everything Earth carries, is unity. Moreover, apart from the sense of sight which has a cultural priority and hearing, the sense of touch can also provide us with a lot of information about the surrounding world, as well as with a unique sensual experience. After all, the world, reality has a textural dimension as well. This is the philosophical sense of this project.
The goal of the project is a 'journey', by means of the sense of sight and touch, through the past times of war and peace, through minor, everyday behaviours and gestures, through small and big discoveries, which activate the present thanks to a tactually experienced past. We are exposed to a textural experience, a huge collection of planes and spaces, both realistic and completely invented, e.g., the surface of Mars and the traces of the destruction in Pompeii, the bottom of the ocean and the imprints of a maze of railway lines, a battlefield in shambles, etc. The experience would have the value of an archaeological site being explored in a state of repose. The world in a nutshell, multiplicity of experience in one. The applied textures range from very smooth, polished and shiny to course or even irritating (prickly). The visual form of a specific situation or station, its artistic semantics, as well as the type of surface used give the station its artistic meaning. The aim is to gain a possibly wide spectrum of sensual experience.
The journey of a bare, unshod foot personalises openness, acceptance and, in a further dimension, sensitivity to the surrounding environment*. It is a journey in an 'direct' state. Concurrently, the stations will fulfil, to a certain degree, a therapeutic function acting as peculiar fields for passive acupressure. Also could be useful for disabled persons, particularly blind for whom sense of touch is very important.
Comments from the author
The world, just like the universe, is a unity and a certain whole. Its borders are slowly becoming dependent on our consciousness. Hence, we should create models that bring us closer to its structure and the way it functions – incorporating our unique way of existing alongside other living organisms. The richness and multidimensional character of our perception is important for our existence and cognitive abilities in the future. Maybe by arranging net of such a parks we would be able to create some new style, awareness of being open to the environment, particularly among young people because of their ability to inner change and in result to change human environment itself.
*In this case, people living naked in nature such as survivors of Aborigines, Bushmen or Amazonian Indians have advantage over us, people living in a state of advanced technological civilisation. Through their bared skin they remain in direct contact with the space and time of their ancestors. They could offer us vast experience in the area of “direct” existence. (We could learn a lot from them about 'direct' existence')
Main objectives of the project
The applications have the form of imprints in different materials (e.g., coloured concrete), but could also be made using paving stone, plastics or reinforced ground overgrown with different shrubs. The surfaces used can be of different quality in terms of their colour properties and physiochemical composition.
These types of bas-reliefs can be placed individually in public places or as a collection of adequately selected stations to form a park, for instance. A network of such parks could be established in different parts of the world. Individual stations, which together will form one park space, can be designed by a few outstanding sculptors. These stations will be, in fact, bas-reliefs with various forms, intended to walk over. Stations can be maintained also inside big plazas, markets, in private gardens, on the roof of skyscrapers etc. As an alternative ones can think about maintaining the project inside gallery. (That would look as a kind of Fluxus like event).
The park would have to be equipped with a tap with running water for washing feet.
The range of possible structures is practically unlimited - from actually existing ones to totally created ones. Imprints, castings in different materials (e.g., coloured concrete), but could also be made using paving stone, plastics or reinforced ground overgrown with different shrubs. The surfaces used can be of different quality in terms of their colour properties and physiochemical composition. They can be covered (or fused with surfaces or imprints of objects can be created) with some small natural objects such as pebbles, shells, pieces of wood, seeds, nuts, etc., and manufactured articles such as transistor radios, walkmans, bottles, bolts, parts of mechanisms, necessities, etc.
A huge tactile mandala – this could be the significance of the Bare Foot Park. (external map of the brain).
1. Examples of applications (stations)
Labyrinth – built from reinforced earth overgrown with different shrubs
Text of, for example, concrete poetry
Microworld – cell structure, atoms…
Zen stone gardens
A shipwreck lying at the bottom of the sea
Hiroshima after explosion of the atomic bomb
A negative of the area seen from the bird's eye view
The sky with clouds
Religious, political symbols, etc.
2. Examples of surface types
Looses pebbles from the seaside
Surface of a coral reef
Small, fine objects such as marbles, bolts
Small ponds filled with rainwater (application in concrete)
Imprints of car wheels, car bodies, footprints, handprints; animal prints.
Shrubs, plants of various substance
Different types of grit, stones, sand, etc.
Various perishable materials, both natural and manmade.
Different types of forest bed, grass, twigs, etc.
Plastic (grouped according to colour and quality / article type.
Metal (car sheet metal plates, parts of mechanisms, etc.)
Cut -up tire treads
Used wooden material
From a scrap yard, elements grouped into, e.g., pots, spoons, frying pans, etc., or made from plastic.
3. Form of specific stations:
File 1. Oval 'Cosmic' station – recalling geological and cosmic contexts, multilevel.
File 2. Round 'Terrestrial' station – recalling organic contexts and created by man, multilevel.
File 3. Conceptual station based on a geometric plan, multilevel.
File 4. Conceptual station with a homogeneous concrete basis, single-level
File 5. Hypothetic projection of the whole park.
Re.1, 2, 3
The difference in levels between planes fluctuates, and depending on the station can reach 200cm between the lowest and highest planes. Stations can differ in dimensions – from relatively small ones which could be installed, for example, in private gardens, to big ones arranged in public places.
Particular multilevel stations can have various types of surfaces, made of both natural elements such as sand, gravel, clay, stone, minerals etc, as well as organic elements such as grass, wood, fruits, flowers etc., or manufactured products or recovered materials from recycling like: plastic or metal car parts, cuted tires, art works, anything from scrapyard that could be useful, books etc.etc. Any living creatures are welcomed to the project...
The single-level station is made, e.g., from concrete (which can be coloured or painted with adequate paint) with surface applications made from colour resins in order to vary sensory properties of the station's plane.
PARK OF AUTO - CREATION – a self-renewable social space.
Project was classified as an Excellent Product at The International Design Competition 2004, that was held in Osaka, Japan.
Projekt 2004 by ADAM KALINOWSKI