The Festival of Curves, Slopes and Detours (2018) was a special performative tour of the Milton Keynes pedestrian and cycling system - the Redways. The Redways are a network of 270km of mixed-use paths that run in parallel to the road grid and through the grid squares of MK. Their name comes from the russet red tarmac they are covered with, but the Redways are also green, corridors of connection that bring people, plants, fungi and animals together. This performance tour united cyclists, walkers, runners and parents with prams to experience the Redways together. On this alternative tour, fellow travellers learnt how to read the Redways, experience the ups and downs of winding around roads and took part in a series of choreographed events.
Is this a re-imagining or a re-possession? A frame of curves sewn into the shadow of a grid. A red route pulls me in another direction and air smells green. Holding handlebars, I feel their grip. Disorientation is key. How many different languages are spoken here? What will these routes look like in 50 years time?
Photos: Colin Buttimer