#TAKEMEANYWHERE: "For an entire month, the artists (LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner) would post their coordinates online and wait for a ride. Whoever then appeared could take them anywhere they chose. For the duration of the project, their journey could be tracked in real time at take-me-anywhere.net, with their path entirely in the hands of the public."
You could say I was an acquaintance with the project in that I participated, but didn't actively "take" the artists anywhere.
When they posted their coordinates in New Orleans, by the time I got to their location they had been picked up. I became cordial with other hopeful participants, whose hopes were then dashed when we learned that they had been picked up.
Three of us, Chris (Baton Rouge), Angelina (New Orleans), & Seth (South Texas) decided to go to Angelina's house near by and go swimming. None of us knew each other before that day. A few minutes after arriving at Angelina's, we decided we weren't ready for our pursuits to be over. So we hopped in our cars and followed the map (associated with the project) that loosely tracked their whereabouts.
We found them a few hours later in a Burger King a few miles inside the Alabama line.
After meeting them and learning what they had in mind for the project, and of course asking permission if we could follow their trail we decided to keep going with the hopes of picking them up at the next drop-off. I dropped my van at the Burger King and got in Seth's truck.
We found ourselves in Destin, Florida that night. After deciding that these strangers I had hopped in a car with a few hours ago weren't psychopaths, we all shared a hotel room together. (sorry mom)
The next day when the coordinates were posted, we were determined to get there first. We were within the minute after Rachel (started in Colorado, but actually from Tennessee) got to them. I think in a sense, Rachel understood what it was like to be foiled in her attempts. (We had seen her at both Burger King & the New Orleans stop) She invited us along on her trip and we were so grateful. We all became fast friends.
We went to the Mariana caverns and took a tour somewhere near Jacksonville I think. We met Ronnie & Craig there, they joined the caravan. After that Rachel had car trouble. We stayed at a Motel 6 that evening in order for her car to be ready the next morning.
I think that was probably the nicest time I ever had waiting for a tow truck and amidst set backs. It wasn't my car, but I'd bet everyone felt the same.
I think to outsiders looking in at us, we looked like a group of friends that had been friends for a while, not hours or a day.
The next day, the group separated because most of us had real life to get back to. Seth dropped myself, Chris, & Angie off at my van in Alabama. He headed back to Texas and we back to New Orleans.
I missed the road as soon as I put the key in my door when I arrived home. I packed a bag (I had no belongings besides a phone and my debit card for those days previous) and got on a train in the general direction of Tennessee a couple hours later. I traveled pretty aimlessly & alone for about two-three weeks after that.
A few of us who participated in the project have met at different times throughout the year. (I think there are over 60 of us) Seth came out for a weekend and I saw Chris & Angelina a few times since then. We've all kept in touch through social media. I think that it's interesting how art/road trip can change your life in such a tangible way.
I learned a lot about myself and the world by traveling with strangers/alone. The most important thing I think is that first encounters don't have to be superficial. Be free with yourself. Love big & big love will come.
Just shy of a year later, those who can make it out are all traveling to Colorado to eat tacos and watch home videos. It's going to be wild and I couldn't be more ready.
You can find other metamodern performance projects (mostly dealing with celebrity and community) by the trio LaBeouf, Rönkkö, & Turner at http://labeoufronkkoturner.com/
Tell me about your favorite road trip in the comments and be sure to subscribe to get updates on my travels next month.