Ava Fedorov

Equinox Crossing is a global, collaborative performance art piece, created and organized by Ava Fedorov, and performed during the 2020 Autumnal Equinox and the height of the Covid pandemic. The apparent simplicity of the performance belies the profound act that both walking and synchronous action can be. As Timothy Schuler wrote in What it Means to Walk, “no matter why we do it, walking tends to offer us something beyond its express purpose, an extra layer of experience and meaning that is all too often ignored.” This work examines those layers of meaning, creating a feeling of connection and human-ness beyond the boundaries of geography. The unedited video documentation of the performance is what you are seeing here.

The Autumnal Equinox occurs at the same moment everywhere on the planet when the earth’s equator crosses over the direct center of the sun. In Equinox Crossing, at the instance of the equinox, 20 artists located all over the world walked simultaneously from their front doors and through their neighborhoods with their cameras pointed outward. The walk’s duration occurred for 1 astronomical unit (8.5 minutes)—the time it takes light from the sun to reach earth. All 20 walks were simultaneously live streamed on Zoom, Youtube, and Facebook on September 22, 2020 at 13:30 UTC. Participating artists were in locations that included: Lima, Peru; Berlin, Germany; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Nizhny Novgorod, Russia; Mumbai, India; Brooklyn, New York; Tel Aviv, Israel; Portland, Oregon; and Honolulu, Hawai’i.

This era is one of pandemic-driven anxiety, isolation, racism, climate crisis-fueled natural disasters, and disembodiment within the “virtual” world. And yet, this era also yearns for simple human connection while calling for us to understand the vast, global organism that we are all part of. This performance of together walking separately through our individual landscapes is a reminder that the land under our feet is a shared entity, a body that, in turn, connects all of our bodies. It asks both viewer and performer to pay close attention to the world, our home, and to acknowledge that implicit bond we have. Though emphasis is placed on the physical action of walking, it is, ironically, the virtual space that allows this unique experience of synchronicity. It is through the mutual understanding of the physicality of place, then, that we can virtually see the universal in the individual and experience the tenderness and essentialness of that connection.

Ava Fedorov is a visual artist, writer, and activist who is originally from a remote area of Upstate New York. With a background that also includes design and film, she pulls from all realms of her creative knowledge to portray disappearing wilderness, haunted geographies, and the implicit nexus that connects internal and external landscapes. Ava teaches studio art at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and is also the founder and president of CICADA, an organization committed to amplifying the creative response to environmental justice and the climate crisis.