Wanderlust Score

by | Oct 7, 2019 | Artwork #1: Score

On the third Friday of the month,
Take a bus to a place you have never heard of.

Walk until you cannot.

Await further instructions.


I had two intentions when I created this score: first, I wanted to share a sense of adventure (perhaps a sensation of feeling lost). This is an important element missing from day to day life–some of my fondest memories growing up are times spent in the Adirondack mountains upstate in New York. Wandering, exploring, getting carelessly lost, and occasionally hitchhiking back to my uncles’ farm are among the realest experiences I’ve had; perhaps these are the times in my life I’ve lived most attuned to Fluxus values.

My goal was to combine that feeling with my second intention: an intervention of instructions using humor (“that deadliest of weapons against all that is pompous, staid, and holy” Zhuangzi). Scores, essentially lists of instructions, always seemed to me a weird vehicle for Fluxus to employ. It’s strange that they would employ such an explicit means–although maybe that’s part of it? Details such as “the third Friday of the month” and the pseudo-poetic structure of the stanzas are meant to imply some ornate level of significance, when there is in fact none. It is part of a trap laid for the reader: a lure with the promise of adventure only to discover a dead end, a punishment for following instructions blindly without question.

Or at least that was my original, somewhat callous intention for the score. Later when shared in class numerous other interpretations opened my eyes to alternate possibilities. My favorite of these (in keeping with the theme of wanderlust) involved changing the line “walk until your legs give out” to “walk until you cannot”: a far more open-ended prompt. Subsequently, the final line “Await further instructions” becomes similarly open to interpretation–the instructions can come from anywhere, you’ll know them when they come.

It’s always cool when other perspectives can show me new ways to riff off of something I created. I’m starting to truly value the potency of collaboration.