A journey as a flock
Oriol Fontdevila, 2013

Cicero and Quintilian tell the story of a feat that led to Simonides of Ceos being acclaimed as the inventor of the art of memory, ars memoriae. In around 500 BC the athlete Scopas asked Simonides to write a lyric poem to celebrate his victory in a sporting contest. The panegyric was not to his liking, though, since Simonides dedicated two-thirds of it to Castor and Pollux—twin divinities who were heroic boxers—and only a third to Scopas himself. The incensed athlete told Simonides to collect two-thirds of the commissioned fee from the twins, for he would only pay the remaining third.

At the celebration banquet Simonides received word that two young men were waiting outside to see him, only to find that the two young men were nowhere to be found. At that very moment the dining hall collapsed behind him, crushing Scopas and all his guests. Castor and Pollux had punished Scopas’ vanity and rewarded Simonides in gratitude for his poem by saving his life.

Afterwards, the bodies were so badly disfigured that they couldn’t be identified for proper burial. Simonides, though, was able to recall where each of the guests had been sitting at the table and was thus able to identify them. This prodigious feat of memory stands as the founding myth of the art of memory. And the fact that the poet had remembered where the guests had been sitting by locating them in space meant that in the ancient and medieval worlds, the art of memory was seen as an art of space rather than time, as topography rather than chronology.

Harald Weinrich, whose account of the story we have draw on here, suggests that the story of Simonides led to the development of a didactic technique for memory artists, above all rhetorical artists. When a speaker had to remember a speech, they would first lay out a constellation of places familiar to them in their mind. They would then convert all the things they wanted to remember into pictures and place each picture in one of the places they had thought of. When they came to give their speech, all they had to do was to call to mind the series of places and the pictures associated with them. According to Weinrich, “This art is always practised in a memory space in which everything that must be remembered has its own specific place.”(1)

Somewhat more recently, Nicolas Bourriaud has also explored a return to this “spatialised” notion of memory and historical time. According to this critic, whereas in modernity the past was identified with tradition and viewed as something to be overcome, today the past is interpreted as something that shapes the present and is seen as a repository of resources that are no longer spread out successively in time, but rather simultaneously in space: “We now live in times in which nothing disappears anymore … Everything accumulates under the effect of a frenetic archiving.”(2)

In terms of art practice, Bourriaud links this notion of time with the recent blossoming of travel as an art form. By perceiving historical time as a kind of topography, an artist interested in historical accounts can find travel to be the perfect means when it comes to forging different ties between the spatial dimension and the time markers in a given territory. To a certain extent, then, the historical narrativity of a travel-based art project can be seen as a modern-day version of Simonides’ rhetoric.

Such is the case with Tanit Plana and her project Circulació [Circulation]. On this occasion, her journey is along a kind of palimpsest of paths and roads in central Catalonia that date back to different historical periods. The initial idea was to follow the drovers’ path that up until a few decades ago linked Avinyó and Manresa and formed part of the transhumant sheep track between Poblet and Carlit, in the French Cerdagne. However, this route has since been broken up into different bits and encroached upon by private estates, industrial estates, railway lines and roads, and the remaining stretches have fallen into either disrepair or oblivion. As a result, Tanit’s project is a journey that combines space, time, landscape and memory in good measure.

The invitation

Circulació stems from a commission: in July 2011 the Cal Gras cultural lodge in Avinyó invited Tanit to carry out a project as part of Art transhumant [Transhumant Art], a programme set up to promote projects related to herding livestock. Quim Moya, joint head of the centre with Eva Quintana, says that transhumance had had a huge impact on their world and they were interested in working on it “because of the knowledge it implicitly brings”.(3) By reviving interest in the drovers’ path, and above all in the culture that was carried along it, Cal Gras sees the chance to restore a certain “balance between nature and man” in the context of a society that needs to rethink the way in which it has gone about creating economic growth and social development.

“We’re currently lost”, says Quim, “and we cling to feng shui as if we’d made some amazing new discovery, when all around us people used a form of knowledge of the earth and its energies to site farmhouses and churches.” This knowledge of rural society has almost completely vanished over two or three generations and the heads of the centre and their guest artists feel bereft of this legacy. Unlike Simonides, the artists were never witnesses and therefore concentrate on carrying out interventions on the drovers’ path through different art forms and processes.(4) The memory of transhumance is handed down to us in the form of advice, such as that given by Jordi Torres, a farmer from Sant Feliu Sasserra who often works with the art centre and has spent much of his life exploring the paths and family houses in the Lluçanès region to gather stories and legends in an attempt to restore local memory.

“Drovers’ paths are our roots: transhumance is what bound our country together from coast to mountain. From as far back as the 12th century at least, they have made up a network for sharing livestock, culture and people.”(5) In contrast to the emphasis on degrowth and the philosophy of the Slow Movement(6) present in Cal Gras’s discourse, Jordi strikes a more nationalistic and, above all, pro-community note: “The paths are a public space; this is everyone’s heritage.” Focusing specifically on drovers’ paths, he reminds us that from the end of feudalism until well into the 20th century, citizens had to give a given number of days’ work over to the good of the town, and councils used these days’ work to clear and conserve the stretches of the roads that fell within their boundaries.(7) And he also points to the 1995 act whereby the state recognised drovers’ paths as goods in the public domain—and therefore as “inalienable, vital and unseizable”—and transferred oversight of them to the devolved regional governments.(8)

Despite the existence of a specific act that currently protects these paths, Jordi says that the Catalan government has done “practically nothing” to either conserve or even catalogue the vast network of drovers’ paths that crisscrosses Catalonia. In the case of the Lluçanès region, Jordi has combated some of this negligence himself: accompanied by a small working group, he has spent 12 years clearing 45 km of one of the four drovers’ paths across the Lluçanès region—the Camí Central—along the stretch that runs from Avinyó to Torrats d’Alpens.(9) According to Jordi, restoring the paths means finding modern-day uses for them linked to leisure and tourism. He stresses the environment benefits and is sure that repairing the tracks is also a boon for grazing and transhumance, which are again becoming necessary today: “If, instead of keeping sheep in barns and moving them around in lorries, you herd them along, you can feed them for two or three weeks without it costing you a penny. Transhumance is worth your while and the quality of the meat is incomparable.”

Sheep doing parkour

Tanit, though, had never thought of carrying out a project related to transhumance and she jokingly admits: “I’m pretty much open to all subjects, but if there’s one thing to which I’d have said ‘I’m not going there’ it would have been transhumance!”(10) The heads of Cal Gras invited this particular artist because they were interested in her work as a photographer and her interest in groupwork, as well as intuitively feeling “we knew her work and got good vibes.” Tanit accepted their offer because, she says, “I believe in this kind of intuition. It’s true that transhumance wasn’t on my radar, but I like a challenge.” However, she was uncomfortable with the somewhat militant edge to the commission: “If I had to take Quim or Jordi’s position, I couldn’t do this project. I feel more comfortable in an experimental situation, with an action that sparks questions rather than stating a political manifesto.”

This is probably why the first thing Tanit’s solution did was to shift the focus away from what mattered most to her hosts. “Quim told me to site the project along the stretch of the path that Jordi had restored from Avinyó to Prats de Lluçanès, which was clearly marked out. He was trying to entice me, but I wasn’t tempted at all.” Cal Gras took it for granted that “working on transhumance was all about going upwards”, since the values the centre was so keen to revive all lay towards Prats. Tanit, however, was looking in the other direction, towards where the track disappeared and “towards where everything was asphalt”: the stretch of the Camí Central that went down from Avinyó to Manresa.

Interestingly, Tanit’s desire to shift the project in this direction was then given a boost by the arrival of a new partner, Idensitat, a platform that had been experimenting with ways of connecting art work with social environments since 1999.(11) Faced with Calaf and Manresa Town Councils’ withdrawal of their previously agreed funding, Idensitat rethought their ties with the land as a way of strengthening the collaboration they had forged with Cal Gras. So in mid-2011 the two organisations agreed to produce Circulació together; this major injection of resources into the project let it grow considerably.

The origin of this capital made it likely that Manresa would be one of the main hubs for the project. From Tanit’s perspective, getting Idensitat on board also brought benefits “in terms of discourse” in that it let her distance herself from the rural focus. Furthermore, Ramon Parramon, director of Idensitat, asked her to make sure it was a highly participatory project, “something I was keen on as well and which Cal Gras hadn’t even mentioned.”

This was when the Circulació project really started to take shape. Tanit put forward the idea of holding a public photography safari: organising a walk along the stretch of the drovers’ path between Avinyó and Manresa and asking participants to take photographs and act as collectors of images along a stretch of the track that had practically disappeared amid a fairly ambiguous landscape. According to Tanit, the participatory format made it possible to add together different readings and thus reach multiple conclusions to the project. Asking participants to take photographs helped her promote the project and pose questions by encouraging people to “ask questions by taking photographs”.(12)

The first excursion took place in August 2011 to prepare for the walk. A small group of people, made up mainly of those behind the project, set off from Cal Gras to follow a route mapped out by Jordi. According to him, “Many stretches of the path to Manresa were well conserved, although obviously it had been broken up far more than in the Prats direction.” Some of the organisers had the opposite impression, though. According to Laia Ramos, coordinator of Idensitat, “It was a trial-and-error itinerary. It wasn’t about overcoming obstacles; we really didn’t know what kind of path we were going to follow. All Jordi’s contacts were with farmers and livestock farmers in the Lluçanès region; he didn’t have any contact with those in the downwards direction, where there was practically no one left with any ties to working the land. So there’s not the same knowledge of the terrain.”(13)

The thirty or so kilometres covered by the team ran along different kinds of tracks amid allotments and industrial estates in the middle of nowhere on the Bages plain and it was tough going when it came to crossing the Eix del Llobregat motorway and the dual-carriageway ring road at the entrance to Manresa. Tanit soon realised that the drovers’ path no longer existed: “The wonderful thing about that excursion was the fact that the track wasn’t there—it was incredible, perfect.” For Cal Gras, however, if a public walk was going to be organised, under no circumstances would it be undertaken in such hazardous conditions as these.

Sheep as shepherds

A traditional line of thought in ethnography is that a community that remains in the same settlement is able to create a series of authentic ways of life and cultural systems. Cultural production has tended to be linked to the condition of stable residence. James Clifford, however, is one of the anthropologists who have stressed the importance of travel with regard to producing forms of collective life. From his point of view, cultural meanings and values are produced precisely when societies mobilise and shift, when they start to move around and interact. According to Clifford, rather than remaining in the same place, “The cultural action, the configuration and reconfiguration of identities, happens in the contact zones.”(14)

Transhumance not only involves herding livestock; the drovers’ paths were the main routes along which rural societies moved and interacted. These tracks were a means, a mediating tool that made it possible to create cultural meaning in a given society. Thus, rather than keeping communities in place and identifying them in accordance with the same “ways of living and understanding the world”,(15) by facilitating movement, the path is probably also what offered them the chance to change.

Tanit’s nonchalant acceptance that the drovers’ path was no longer there is related to this idea: “The paths have a life of their own. They’re born, they die, they change shape, they’re constantly altering. If you stop to think about the amount of asphalt we’ve traipsed over on these excursions, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that the transhumant path has simply become the technique we now have in the form of the road.” The transformation of these societies has meant that it’s not only their culture that changes, but also the means used to activate it. And from this perspective, the replacement of paths by roads is not something we should panic over.

Nevertheless, the lesson from transhumance has had a major impact on the Circulació project. It can be seen when, instead of defending the qualities tied to the sheep track from a historical perspective, an artist decides to site them once again in the present: rather than as a single itinerary, Tanit sees her project as a network of paths, which should make it possible for the different players in the project to interact. Moreover, as in the case of the drovers’ paths, the idea was for these tracks to act as a common good and for the discussions and negotiations on which itinerary to follow to fit with the agendas of the actors who would gradually come on board. Tanit’s reluctance to take a firm position on transhumance allows the sheep that join the flock to increase their capacity to act and absorb parts of the project. In fact, in Circulació, there are times when the different collaborative players alternate between sheep and shepherd.

Throughout the first half of 2012, participants were recruited for the public walk. The strategy here was to give different organisations in the area the chance to put on photography workshops given by Tanit, duly adapted to the specific needs of the organisation in question and fitted into their programme of public activities. Idensitat and Cal Gras set out to find a wide range of different groups in the area between Avinyó and Manresa. As Laia says, the idea was to find “groups who were motivated by different interests, such as a sporting or artistic interest and organisations with a social purpose”.

The groups with a sporting interest included the Centre Excursionista d’Avinyó [Avinyó Hiking Centre] and the Posa’t en Marxa [Get Going] group in Sant Fruitós de Bages. In exchange for giving a nature photography workshop, both organisations were asked to publicise the public walk among hikers. Above all, though, following the parkour episode experienced by the team some months previously when they had tried to follow the transhumant path, they were asked to help plot the route the walk would finally take.

“Hiking centres are used to plotting routes for a hundred or so people,” says Laia. Using the information provided by Jordi, which was the most accurate data they had on the original path, they plotted the nearest route that ran along established paths. The Avinyó group was responsible for the stretch from Avinyó to Sant Fruitós de Bages, and the Sant Fruitós de Bages group took over until Manresa. At this point, Tanit says, “the groups’ idiosyncrasies became clear, because the Sant Fruitós de Bages group refused point blank to walk on asphalt, which for them would have gone completely against the spirit of public walks.” But above and beyond walking off the road, the Sant Fruitós de Bages also wanted to include a long detour in the route to take the group past the Font de les Tàpies so they could enjoy the spot’s natural beauty.

The artistic organisations that took part included Ca la Samsona, a cultural centre in Manresa, and Clic, a photography festival in the town of Cabrianes. It is worth noting that the specialist photography and visual arts organisations in the area chose not to join the workshop network. Laia and Tanit believe these organisations probably dismissed the project because it didn’t place enough emphasis on artistic technique, whereas those with what Laia called a “social purpose” responded very positively to the idea, especially Grup +16 at Manresa Council’s Espai Jove [Youth Area]. In the words of programme coordinator Núria Émpez, the Grup +16 is made up “mainly of newly arrived teenagers from other countries without any identity papers who are older than the school-leaving age but aren’t accepted by any colleges of further education because they can’t speak the language”.(16)

This group was highly motivated by the photography workshop and public walk and their involvement introduced some innovative aspects to the project. The photography safari began to change perspective: it was initially conceived to gather images of the landscape, but Grup +16 were interested in observing the community that was being built up through the project. Núria says: “The workshop helped create a more respectable image of what Social Services do. These youngsters complain that we never do anything cool, so having their photo taken by someone who’s an artist empowers them more than you could possibly imagine.” Encouraged by the Espai Jove, Tanit started to take photos of members of Grup +16 as portraits of participants in the project.

If we look at the photographs taken later on, on the walk, we can classify them into three kinds of images: first of all, under the heading “asking questions by taking photographs”, there are those taken by the participants themselves, which show details of the natural and human landscape they passed through. It’s noticeable how these pictures contain very few panoramic views, and their proximity with what they are observing seems to echo the maxim that “you can’t see the world without travelling through it”, which philosopher Marina Garcés has recently explored in her essay Un mundo común [A Common World].(17) According to Garcés, the need to rethink our ties to the world means “abandoning our frontal vision”, that panoramic vision that places things before our eyes and whose expectation of objectification simply encourages passive spectators.

The participants on the walk were more willing to follow the path than to contemplate the landscape from a distance, which was probably not surprising given that the route offered very few panoramic views. The resulting representations captured by their cameras probably correspond to Garcés’s “peripheral vision”, that of an “involved eye”. This vision is not far from reality and inevitably becomes partial; it corresponds to an eye “involved in the body of the viewer and involved in the world it moves in. On the eye’s periphery lies our exposure to the world: our vulnerability and our implication.”(18)

The second set of pictures was taken by Tanit and her team using a small balloon camera that flew over the group of hikers at some points on the way. These aerial photographs are probably the most spectacular images taken on the walk. The interesting thing is that these panoramic-scale pictures were designed to capture not the landscape but rather the group walking along the different kinds of paths. The third set of pictures stems directly from Grup +16’s involvement and consists of individual portraits of all the participants on the walk as they arrived in Manresa. These images, together with those taken by the balloon camera, reveal how the project’s focus had shifted to observing the social body itself.

The workshops had provided the opportunity to form a very varied group to carry out the project. The walk therefore became an occasion not only to examine the changes that had taken place in the surroundings, but also to “learn to see the world between us”.(19) The formation of a new community and the groupwork made it inevitable that the strange nature of the landscape was also reflected in ourselves. Through Circulació, the path was being newly activated as a means, as a path that once again invited society to move, negotiate with outside interests and also reshape the cultural values and identities in its “contact zones”.

The memory

When they arrived in Manresa, Tanit reluctantly had to make a concession. Historically, the sheep had passed through the town centre and along the Passeig de Pere III, but the town council wouldn’t allow Tanit to finish the walk with a public lunch right in the middle of this street, one of the town’s main thoroughfares. It was held instead in the courtyard at the back of El Casino Cultural Centre. For Tanit, this was a “huge letdown” because “the lunch in the street would have been a truly festive way to end the walk, and other people in the town would have found out about the project. We initially planned to set up a screen showing the photographs taken by the participants, but when we had to change the location, this didn’t make sense any more.”

Over lunch, Jordi make clear how disappointed he was by all the concessions that had been made over the course of the itinerary, especially the detour via the Font de les Tàpies introduced by the Sant Fruitós de Bages hiking group: “It was fine as a walk, a hike, but if the idea was to follow the transhumant path, we should have been doing something else. We could have easily made the walk open to the general public without having to cheat as much as we did.”

Tanit, however, insisted that the route of the transhumant path between Avinyó and Manresa is far from clear and recalled Jordi’s earlier words about the drovers’ path changing its route over the course of its history: “Every time they had to build a road or a bridge that affected the path, the councils simply rerouted the path and sent the sheep another way.” This had happened to the Passeig de Pere III itself: after the Sant Francesc bridge was bombed during the Civil War, the sheep track had to be altered; after that they entered the town over the Pont Vell bridge and passed through it along the Torrent de Sant Ignasi.

“I don’t think this path has ever been sacred”, says Tanit, “in the sense that it has a single route that must be respected.” The route of the drovers’ path changed over time to fit in with the communities that used it. And, in fact, as far as Circulació is concerned, we can consider that the community aspect was boosted in that the route the walk would take was also discussed and agreed by all the people involved.

This was probably the intention right at the very start when the Avinyó–Manresa stretch was chosen rather than heading towards Prats. We can interpret it as a drift, a vanishing line whose mission was to deterritorialise the common places of transhumance and force a solution, since along the path to Manresa there was no chance of finding a Simonides who might be able to recall how it once was. However, the yawning gaps in memory along this stretch could well help create greater room for manoeuvre to discuss and change the way memory is dealt with in a plural endeavour.

Forgetting had no place in Simonides’ landscape. His mnemonic technique enabled memory artists to eradicate forgetting from the mentally constructed landscape—even though, in reality, both memory and the landscape require forgetting if they are to take shape. As Marc Augé says in his anthropological approach to forgetting, neither the landscape nor memory are built solely on what is present: “Memories are crafted by oblivion as the outlines of the shore are created by the sea.” The landscape is the result of the interaction between an eroding force and the resilience of the coast. Likewise, Augé believes that “oblivion is the life force of memory”, whilst memory, the thing that resists the process of elimination, is simply “the resulting product”. If we weren’t to forget, adds Augé, our memory would quickly be overwhelmed and we would be unable to remain active in the present.(20)

In the case of Circulació, recognition of forgetting as a component in creating the landscape makes it possible for the art of memory to go arm in arm with the art of negotiation. The practically nonexistent trace of the path once again makes it possible for memory and community to exist as a project and not as something given. Thus, the act designed around transhumance acquires the etymological meaning of the word commemorate, ‘to remember together’,(21) as a community. It becomes a commemorative act that exists as a challenge in the present and which lets the community visualise its ties, the paths it has taken and the crossroads it has left behind, the detours it has taken, the changes it has undergone and those that have regularly led it to build itself as such.

So how successful has Circulació been in this sense? The project jettisoned part of the path’s historical dimension to focus more on transhumant paths’ present value to communities. But the discussions and negotiations that took place also eased the itinerary considerably and softened the contrasts in the landscape. To what extent did the negotiations lead to opting for the easy way? To what extent was the path that was finally chosen the most suitable one for thinking about the transformations that have taken place in our society and in the landscape?

Tanit says that on the day of the walk they only got feedback from one participant, a man who had come on his own that came up to her and said: “Everything we’ve done here makes a lot of sense.” Tanit believes this man drew his own conclusions from the exercise of observation. Nonetheless, she is the first to admit that the experience needs to be followed up with a dialogue with participants. This publication and the exhibition at the Vic Contemporary Arts Centre (ACVIC) in October 2013 have aimed to strike up this dialogue with participants and make the most of the thought-provoking potential that Circulació has tried to create through memory, landscape and society.

Oriol Fontdevila

Notes

(1)Harald Weinrich, Lethe: The Art and Critique of Forgetting (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004), 11.

(2)Nicolas Bourriaud, The Radicant (New York: Lukas & Sternberg, 2009).

(3)This and the following quotes by Quim Moya come from a conversation on the Circulació project between Oriol Fontdevila, Quim Moya, Laia Ramos and Jordi Torres held in Sant Feliu Sasserra on 25 July 2013. Conversations with some of the people who helped the project take shape served as the foundations for this text. They were held almost a year after the public walk that formed the backbone to the project. I would particularly like to thank Laia Ramos for preparing the sessions, overseeing the conversations and researching many of the issues raised with the contributors.

(4)Various authors, Art transhumant. Avinyó – Prats de Lluçanès. Cal Gras – Itineràncies (2009). Available online at: http://issuu.com/calgras/docs/arttranhumant.

(5)This and the following quotes by Jordi Torres come from a conversation on the Circulació project between Oriol Fontdevila, Quim Moya, Laia Ramos and Jordi Torres held in Sant Feliu Sasserra on 25 July 2013.

(6)Degrowth, as an economic and social theory, and the Slow Movement, as a cultural movement, are both based on slowing down the pace of Western economic growth and expansion. Degrowth started to take off in the mid-1990s thanks to economist Serge Latouche; the Slow Movement began in Rome in 1986 in protest at the opening of a McDonald’s near the Spanish Steps. Both aim to slow down human activities and, in the words of Paul Ariès, promote “growth in humanity, with fewer goods and more social and human bonds and ties with nature”. For more on the Slow Movement, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_movement; on degrowth theory, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrowth and Serge Latouche, Farewell to Growth (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2009).

(7)According to Jordi Torres, “the citizens of a town had to give a number of free days’ work to the council doing jobs to improve the town itself. All male adults had to give three days’ work a year. The council used these days’ work to cover the town’s most pressing needs, above all clearing and maintaining tracks.” Jordi Torres, Camins amb memòria. Llegendes, dites i fets de la vora del camí (Lluçà: Solc, Àmbit de recerca i documentació del Lluçanès, 2002), 5–15.

As the result of communal work, the drovers’ paths should be considered as part of the commons, understood as “those goods, resources, processes or things (either material or intangible) that are shared, used and enjoyed by a group or given community of people.” The commons arose at the end of the 13th century following the progressive disappearance of feudalism, when certain goods became part of the towns and boroughs that had sprung up around the castles and feudal settlements, and in modern times the term has been used in the context of the digital world and the changes brought about in the ecosystem of cultural management. On the commons, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commons. Antonio Fraguas, “La revolución cultural del procomún”, in El País, 28 December 2011. Available online at: http://cultura.elpais.com/cultura/2011/12/27/actualidad/1324940405_850215.html.

(8)Various authors, Camins ramaders i transhumància a Catalunya. Recomanacions i propostes (Lleida: Fundació Món Rural, 2009), 17. Available online at: http://www.transhumancia.cat.

(9)The repaired path received coverage in the media once it was signposted by Solc and the Lluçanès Consortium. The press release is available online at: http://consorci.llucanes.cat/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=505&Itemid=69. There is further information on Lluís Suriñach’s website Gent d’Alpens: http://www.dalpens.com/2012/06/la-pleta-de-torrats-dalpens-i-els.html.

(10)The quotes by Tanit Plana that appear throughout the text come from two conversations between Oriol Fontdevila, Tanit Plana and Laia Ramos held in Manresa on 25 July 2013 and in Barcelona on 1 August 2013. It was not felt necessary to specify which conversation each quote came from.

(11)http://www.idensitat.net.

(12)As set out on the Idensitat website: “In this project, Tanit Plana asked people to accompany her on her walk. In her thoughts. To take photos of the stretch they walked along. To help her ask questions by taking photographs. According to the artist, the project is motivated by overcoming different obstacles and it is precisely by showing these obstacles that it can be picked apart and understood.”

(13)The quotes by Laia Ramos that appear throughout the text come from two conversations between Oriol Fontdevila, Tanit Plana and Laia Ramos held in Manresa on 25 July 2013 and in Barcelona on 1 August 2013. It was not felt necessary to specify which conversation each quote came from.

(14)James Clifford, Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997).

(15)The notion that the disappearance of the path also entails the loss of a way of understanding the world appears in the project text on the Idensitat website: “When tracks gradually die, all their surroundings slowly eat them away. This path has become overgrown with brambles and broken up and encroached upon in different places by roads, buildings, industrial estates and the like. The track has been slowly erased and has died, taking with it a whole way of life and understanding of the world around us.”

(16)This and the following quotes by Núria Émpez are taken from a conversation on the project between Núria Émpez, Oriol Fontdevila, Tanit Plana and Laia Ramos held in Manresa on 25 July 2013.

(17)Marina Garcés, Un mundo común (Barcelona: Edicions Bellaterra, 2013), 74.

(18)Marina Garcés, op. cit., 111–114.

(19)Marina Garcés, op. cit., 111–114.

(20)Marc Augé, Oblivion (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004), 20–21.

(21)Fernando Estévez, “Archivo y memoria en el reino de los replicantes”, in Fernando Estévez and Mariano de Santa Ana (eds.), Memorias y olvidos del archivo (Tenerife: Lampreave, 2010), 36.