Goatwalking is a multi-media public art project by Christine Foerster that invites El Paso residents on 14 walks with goats. Goatwalking is not only a story about 2 goats (+3 goat-kids) that live in the urban environment of El Paso but it’s also the story of many El Pasoans who are actively working on projects to reshape this city and bring some positive changes. These voices will be connected through the 14 goatwalks documented on the goatwalking.com website, video, GPS maps that will become 14 watercolor drawings and found artifacts cast in goat’s milk.
Goatwalking intends to engage directly with the beauty and the harshness of the urban-desert landscape through a disruption of human navigation patterns with an animal that thrives in this environment. Rather than following a pre-scripted route, each walk will be negotiated first by the participant (we will agree on a starting point that resonates with that person’s passions or work), and later by the goats who dictate a lot about each walk. Goatwalking is about surrendering a human-centered desire for control.
Why goats? Although this may seem outrageous in these times of overabundance and careless consumption, we could survive for quite a while as foragers if we had a milking goat. That is a tremendous relationship between human and animal. Obviously I am not in any way surviving off my goats but I appreciate them as supreme walkers. I think that we understand our surroundings and we are more likely to be involved in our neighborhoods when we walk through them. We see, hear, smell so many more details by foot than we ever could by car.
Goatwalking is funded by an Artist Incubator grant from the Museum and Cultural Affairs Department of El Paso. The first exhibition of Goatwalking will be held in the El Paso Museum of Art as an Artist on Art exhibit from June 11th to August 4th.