The lifting, carrying and moving of stone is very much part of the work. Wherever possible I want this to be done by hand and wheel. The wall will be constructed of stone and human energy.
Apart from the conceptual importance to the work that people move the stone, a site without machines is a less hazardous place and as such would be much easier to manage in terms of the public. I am happy for people to watch the wall being made — so long as they don’t interrupt its progress.
The movement of visitors around the wall, as it is being made, is also part of the work.
The taking down of the wall at one end and then giving it to the wallers at the lead end will be a highly organized and choreographed process, which will take on its own rhythm, movement, and poetry.
How the stone is given to the wallers is critical to the speed of the wall’s construction.
Carrying stone 80–100 yds will be quite a task.
Finding the right people will be a challenge. They need to be people that I can depend upon. It will be hard, tedious, repetitive work. I require people who are used to doing such work and be prepared to work in all weathers.
Working through a snowstorm, driving rain, or battling against strong wind and mud, are very much part of my ephemeral practice. They will have an equally important role in the making of Walking Wall.
My role will be to direct and determine the route of the wall but also document to its making. The documentation will be a work in itself.
Every aspect of the wall’s appearance, from the tools that are used to the clothing people wear, needs to be considered. I have chosen wheelbarrows, sack barrows, and gloves that are subdued in color so that the eye is not distracted from the interaction between people and stone. The clothes that the crew wears should not be too loud or colorful.
Unless there are safety reasons for doing otherwise, I would also ask that hi-viz clothing and hard hats not be worn. This might even determine where the labor come from. Hard hats are always worn by building contractors but not generally worn by landscape contractors.
I would also prefer not to have noticeable slogans or logos on clothing worn by the crew, including any that might advertise the company they work for.
The crew is photographed as they work throughout the making of the piece. These images could appear in my books and presentations and also possibly in the press. The crew should be comfortable with this.
Andy Goldsworthy, 8 February 2019