The Walk Series: beach walk

1973-1974, 14 min, b&w, sound

In this early, performance-based work, d'Agostino experiments with perceptions of landscape, time and point of view. The Walk Series documents three different "walks" (on a roof, a fence and a beach) that the artist took in the San Francisco area, while recording with a hand-held camera. These excursions--recorded in real-time and unedited--map the parameters of the artist's environment, as d'Agostino uses video to redefine the landscape in his own image.

"In the third and last tape, beach walk (March 1974), the walk begins in a place not unlike where fence walk took place: a freeway with rapidly passing cars. In the foreground, d'Agostino stands at a crosswalk, waiting for the traffic to subside; in the middle ground, someone pushes a baby stroller along a sidewalk; at the edge of the sidewalk, a retaining wall appears; and, beyond this, one glimpses the ocean crashing against the shore. D'Agostino is then seen from behind, hurrying across the street and down a flight of stairs to the beach. (The camera during this sequence is situated on a tripod, only to be taken up again by the artist during his walk along the beach, and then returned to the tripod at the end of the tape.) Once on the sand, the artist's cast shadow overlaps with and becomes one's own, and thus do we walk once more together, watching surf and foam flush over shells and sand. D'Agostino rescues the scene from its inherent romanticism by also videotaping cigarette butts tumbling in the waves and littering the beach. The piece ends as d'Agostino departs, ascending the stairs, crossing the street, and disappearing. At this juncture, it is worth emphasizing that when d'Agostino appears in his own productions, he reminds viewers that seeing is an artifice of the producer, similar to how Dziga Vertov, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, and many others have appeared briefly in their own work. In this practice, d'Agostino has never lost sight of the fact that the artifact of his making is the residue of real acts in which he gives viewers the sensation of participating." — Kristine Stiles

Also available on

2012, 63:53 min, color and b&w, sound