Desire paths are well-trodden trails created by foot traffic, where the ground becomes imprinted evidence of a place that wants to be discovered and the people who seek it out. Grab your walking stick for this edition of Desire Trails, and embark on Headlands anew with an artist, writer, or cultural leader whose poetic turns on the land will shift your interpretation of this beloved and complex locale. Hikes will reconvene in the Mess Hall where amblers can swap stories of their steps and enjoy a post-trek meal. We know you’ll be returning hungry, so we’re preparing a hearty, healthy, all-diets friendly meal that will be pre-plated and ready to eat as soon as you are. All walks will happen rain or shine!
Walks leave from Main Building 944 at 12PM. Each walk varies in length; details within each walk description forthcoming. Ticket price includes Mess Hall meal.
Looking for a family-friendly hike? Register for Jenny Sharaf’s walk; all other hikes are for participants 18 years or older.
Choose one of the following & take to the hills!
Current Artist in Residence Samson Kambalu leads a psychogeographical cinema hike, where the time-based medium of film is the framing device for embracing immediate presence. Kambalu has developed a methodology of seeing, performing, and becoming, called Nyau Cinema, which presents a playful and critical approach to cinema where time is non-linear, and is experienced as a journey. Kambalu relates these “rants” of walking and making films to the performance of masks traditional to his native Malawi—performances that allow the truest self to emerge. Make your own cinematic moments on the trail and experience this place, and yourself and others in it, with a new way of looking and being. Participants are encouraged to bring a video-recording device, and opportunities to share videos will be available after the hike.
Painter Jenny Sharaf leads an all-ages, nomadic hike toward a cross-generational exchange on the meaning of what it is to be “counter-culture” in contemporary times. Participants will engage in activities along the way: writing a postcard to a stranger, watercoloring the landscape while discussing abstraction, and exercising collaboration in a series of partner projects. Like those folks of yore who went back to the land, this walk takes inspiration from the environment and the quiet, the unobstructed view, and the feeling of knowing a place so intimately you can live from it. All ages!
Stairwell’s, artist duo Carey Lin and Sarah Hotchkiss, bring their cheeky style of exploration to Headlands. Use your senses to observe the environment in unexpected ways as Stairwell’s leads an interactive hike that interweaves the historical with the experiential, inspired by a quote found in the Marin Headlands Visitor Center attributed to longtime volunteer Irving Kernfeld: “Do you want the short answer or the long answer?”
Current Artist in Residence Ewa Wesolowska’s work is centered on memory, perception, and time, and is steeped in the senses. Imprinted traces that evidence how an object is wrought, and strobes of light that linger as an afterimage, commonly appear in her practice. In this walk, extreme lengths of time—from the nearly instantaneous to the astronomical—will be experienced through prompts that offer participants access to abstract physical and philosophical theories, and draw attention to shadows, echoes, reflections, and the mental impression of the landscape.
Poet Hazel White (AFF ’12–15) leads us from the hearth at Building 944 to the Nike Missile fence, the Fort Barry bunkers, and ocean panoramas, referencing an ongoing project set in the Headlands that includes survival-advantageous landscape theory, regards beauty as an actant, and collects the voices of tourists, park police, veterans, and her black son. We will explore shelter and action, and practice peace-making in the ecotone between them. Participants will prompt one another to share a memory, step forward into a simple action, interrupting the silence of the military structures and inhabiting a new future for them.