Phantasmata : Photographic-Therapeutic Walks

Phi is for Photography
Phi is for Phantasma
Phi is for Phantasmata
"In his work De Anima, Aristotle defines the imagination as a place situated at an intersection halfway between perception and thought, thus making possible a fluid connection between these two processes while still remaining different from both. […] images that are derived from the memory of the perceived; in other words, created from the experience of sensory perception of singular objects and events. (Luigi Fassi, Fantasmata)"
"For Barthes, the phantasma is the formulation of the desire which structures our view of reality, which expresses our affective relation to our body and to the surroundings in which this body finds itself. This affective engagement is something I experience when something seizes me […], even if I’m not able to exactly explain why it seizes me. The phantasma is the concise expression of something which keeps returning in similar images, ideas, stories, characters or spaces which speak to me […]. The only thing I can say about these, is that this ’something’ is related to me, to the life I lead or want to lead: what are the desires or obsessions that unconsciously concern me, what are many of the stories and images about that appeal to me? (Kris Pint, De Wilde Tuin van de Verbeelding)

In 3600 Steps a team of Reporters participates in a Photographic-Therapeutic Walk through the city, straying from street to street without a goal, alone, without a plan, moving to a rhythm that has been set before, to a tempo that is theirs and theirs only. According to the instructions they received when they started, they photograph their surroundings, ever less consciously. The act of photography becomes part of the rhythm of walking and counting. The "decisive moment" feels more like a temporary release from meditation, like a swimmer coming up for air. While the Reporters make their way through the city, their simultaneous drifting turns into a choreography only visible for those who are not reporting. It might be that not all those who wander are lost, but these men and women lose themselves, if they had themselves to lose to begin with.

While they are walking, the images they create appear online, in real-time. A subconscious portrait of the city emerges, as (dis)connected from itself as the Reporters are from themselves. In this sense, these images are the Reporters' Phantasmata, originating from a mental space between the unconscious and the conscious, between memory and perception.

A photographic event happening at different locations in the city at the same time, a Walk is as much a performance about connection and connecting, as it is a photographic endeavour to create a-conscious image material, as it is a moment in time and out of time, a temporary release of the ego through rhythm of counting, walking, creating images.

/The first Photographic-Therapeutic Walk happened in Brussels on the 28th of April 2018, as part of the Enter Festival and the Wandering Arts Biennal hosted by nadine, laboratory for contemporary arts. For this event, Enter Festival released a mini-zine in an edition 40, which every Reporter received. The booklet contained Phantasmata of all Reporters. The graphic design and composition of this booklet was a collaboration with garage64, graphic designers of the Enter Festival.

Phantasmata I (detail)At the end of the first Photographic-Therapeutic Walk, a free zine called FTW was offered to the public. It was the first iteration of the Phantasmata.

/Further group walks took place in Brussels in 2018, in the center of the city and in Anderlecht.

/In 2018 and 2019, the Phantasmata were presented to the public during different public moments.

- At Tropicana in November 2018

- At Recyclart in December 2018 and January 2019

Phantasmata IVInstallation as part of group expo Garage Pirate, in Recyclart, Brussels, January 2019.
Phantasmata IV (detail)Installation as part of group expo Garage Pirate, in Recyclart, Brussels, January 2019.

- At De Rinck in March 2019, where a zine was also presented to the public, in which the Anderlecht Phantasmata were coupled with a poem in four parts by Alex Deforce.

Autobiografie van een KoerLimited edition zine with photos by me (and participants in my Photographic-Therapeutic Walks) and an amazing poem by Alex Deforce , screen printed at Chromodrome, Brussels. Anderlecht