b-4, precarious tasks
#3 walk from a city center to its suburbs

year: 2012
form: private act by myself
material: photograph and text
size: 730X1100mm

artist’s notes:

On March 11 2011, I was in Los Angeles. I seem to recall being on Twitter until late at night. A friend in Tokyo tweeted that there had been a earthquake and they'd been made to get off the subway, and lots of people were gathered in a park. I guess it was around 4pm Japan time. It struck me as an unusual thing to happen. Soon after that I learned there had been quite a large earthquake in Tohoku. I told my friend that info on the internet suggested the trains would be stopped for a while, and he said he would walk home. Fortunately his house was not too far from the area. Even so it would likely take him three or four hours. I became concerned, and checking out my friend's route home on Google Maps, I realized it was a road that I'd passed myself before by bicycle, and while subtly egging him on, monitored his progress. Later I heard on the news that in the worst cases many had walked for seven or eight hours from the central city to their homes in the suburbs. I later learned that at this stage of events phones were down, and news on Twitter via the internet was the only source of information. But at the time I didn't know that either. I was searching for info on emergency evacuation centers as I was asked and tweeting it. People walking home to the suburbs from the center of the city, the paralysis of public transport in a disaster: these I imagine are things with a potential to occur in many places.

Over a year later on 2 November 2012, I decided to walk the same route my friend had taken home. These shots were captured along the way.