The COVID pandemic has changed many of our behaviors and norms as a society–one notable alteration being a tendency to be and feel more isolated.
Though the idea of ‘feeling isolated’ is a complex one (obviously neurologically-based and thus possible at any time and not just during a pandemic), it is at least partly connected to our ability to use the physical spaces around us.
When that isn’t possible, we seek digital means–videos, movies, and social media, for example. But more often than Netflix, during the last year, (in addition to reading) I’ve turned more to virtual reality, Google Earth, and YouTube videos.
Here is a 90-minute walk through Seoul, South Korea in the rain. There is no talking or scene edits or narrative–just the experience of going somewhere else and being somewhere else and see somewhere else all while surrounded by people who aren’t really there. It’s a very surreal thing we take for granted in the 21st-century.
I had my children use Google Earth to trace the man’s walking journey and part of that was using landmarks from the video to identify his location. The idea here is movement through physical spaces–to ‘visit’ places and cultures if only, for now, through a screen: walking through an alleyway full of small restaurants as a kind of witness, the sound of rain on the umbrella a soothing rhythm of its own.
A 90-Minute Walk Through Seoul, South Korea In The Rain