306 Steps in Guanajuato

videoart, installation, walking

Format: SD video
Duration: 1 minute & 41 seconds
Year: 2012

I spent a month in the beautiful city of Guanajuato, Mexico. People have lived in the area for thousands of years though the city took on its current form in the 1500s when the Spanish colonized the region to mine the rich deposits of gold and silver found in the mountains. I felt like a big American tourist when I brought my camera into the town to create some documentation of my experience in Guanajuato; I just didn't feel comfortable observing another culture in this way.

I took long daily walks up and down the steep staircases that constitute most of the streets of this mountainside city. One morning while I was taking my morning walk up to El Pipila, an enormous monument to a hero of the Mexican War for Independence, I had the idea to document each step of the staircase. It took me almost two hours to crawl up the steps while recording each stair.

This piece has since screened as both a single-channel video and a two-channel installation wherein one video represents the slow ascent in 25 minutes and the other video represents a fast descent at under two minutes.