Walking the River / River Walks is a co-performative and transdisciplinary inquiry into rivers and other waterways and their relationship to human communities living along their banks, or with the villages or town or city traversed by the rivers.


It is an art project that will activate people-to-people and people-to-water cognitive and affective links, with the river as resource, as repository of story and memory, and as site of the inter, the in-between or border where skinship happens or becomes possible. It is therefore also a rehearsal and workshop for negotiated co-existence and community building.


It is a knowledge project that aims to build a digital database or archive on each river walked, drawing from scientific literature and previous studies as well as contributed materials from walk participants, who are both of the place and coming from far away to visit and co-walk with the locals. The database would be an active intersection of technical and scientific knowledge and local/indigenous knowledge.


Each river walk is a platform for collaboration and is intended to be part of a continuing transdisciplinary inquiry and arts practice that has an international application, and contributing to an expanding digital resource bank for planetary thinking about water and our relationship to water. It is a fully replicable practice that can be done by any group of 3-5 or more anywhere in the world.


Each river walk is a prompt that can lead to follow-on or follow through projects at its site that participants may decide to take up at a later time, on or related to issues like the quality of the river, depleting or endangered flora or fauna, hygiene and diseases of humans living on or by the river, and so on.


Each river walk can be as short as one day and can be as long as the number of days it would take to get to the ‘head’ or source of the waterway or to its estuary.


River Walks with Augmented Reality. Actual field walks can be enhanced or supplemented by AR and digital technology. Collaborators based at De La Salle University in the Philippines are now working on the AR component which can be built from already available material and serve as resource for every walk. With each walk at a site, the data base expands and new data feed into the AR – which then expands and enhances the walk experience.  Part of the project is developing protocols for data upload from participants.


Launch. A launching event is envisioned for 4 August 2019 as a pre-event of the international performance studies conference Tropical Performances on 5-6 August 2019 (www.performtropics.com). The site is (tentatively) the Molawin Creek in Los Banos, Laguna, which forms part of the watershed system on and around Mount Makiling and empties into the Laguna Lake. At the conference, the Bundanon team will have a roundtable discussion on one of the key topics: ‘Tropical waters, waterways, confluences and wellsprings of performance’.