Errare humanum est…
The act of crossing space stems from the natural necessity to move to find the food and information required for survival. But once these basic needs have been satisfied, walking takes on asymbolic form that has enabled man to dwell in the world. Baby modifying the sense of the space crossed, walking becomes man’s first aesthetic act, penetrating the territories of chaos, constructing an order on which to develop the architecture of situated objects. Walking is an art from whose loins spring the menhir, sculpture, architecture, landscape. This simple action has given rise to the most important relationships man has established with the land, the territory.
Nomadic transhumance, generally thought of as the archetype for any journey, was actually ‘the development of the endless wanderings of hunters in the Paleolithic period, whose symbolic meanings were translated by the Egyptians in the ka, the symbol of eternal wandering. This primitive roving lived on in religion (the journey as ritual) and in literary forms (the journey as narrative), transformed as a sacred path, dance, pilgrimage, procession. Only in the last century has the journey-path freed itself of the constraints of religion and literature to assume the status of a pure aesthetic act. Today it is possible to construct a history of walking as a form of urban intervention that inherently contains the symbolic meanings of the primal creative act: roaming as architecture of the landscape, where the term landscape indicates the action of symbolic as well as physical transformation of anthropic space.
Dimitris Pikionis, Pathways to the Acropolis (1957)