Arty Girl: Laura Milkins Walks Across Mexico City

Let's go for a walk.
Let's go for a walk.
Photo by Merrick Brown, flickr Creative Commons

I've always prided myself on being a relatively patient person. Patient, but persistent is my style.

So I'll be stalking this website today, waiting for the first "Walking Story" blog by Tucson-based performance artist, Laura Milkins, scheduled to post today.

Milkin plans to walk across Mexico City, along the Avenida de los Insurgentes (dubbed the "longest avenue in the world"). She will walk the 29 kilometers (about 18  miles) bit by bit, every other day, until she is finished. She's doing this trek by herself, but plans to approach strangers along the way and ask them to join her. "This is the part that scares me most," she says, "not the possibility of robbery, kidnappying or murder, but asking strangers over and over again for help in a foreign language on a busy street."

Yep, I'd say that's a pretty bold move.

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Her aim is to collect stories. Not extravagant, sexy, entertaining ones, necessarily, but anything these strangers are willing to share - she's collecting evidence of the wide range of the human condition one can find on a busy street.

On the days she doesn't walk, she blogs about the experience and shares the stories she's picked up. Today is supposed to be the day her first stories will be posted. As of the time this piece was written, she hasn't posted anything yet.

I'm looking forward to it because Milkins has an impressive history with art performance. Art Servant is a project in which she creates artwork by request via the web. In Reclaiming Paris, she transformed her body and face to look like Paris Hilton. And in Perfect Woman Project, she asked men from different dating websites to describe their perfect woman, posted the descriptions and asked for people to vote on their favorite "woman". She then changed her physical appearance and personality to emulate the winning description and went out on a series of dates with the man who made the original submission.

Talk about trusting your audience.

For more information about Laura Wilkins, check her website at and to check on her "Walking Stories: Mexico City" performance piece, visit

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