Transit Meditation
Zach Gage, 2019
220 Security Barriers
A Now Play This 2019 commission

Transit Meditation is a body meditation a walking labyrinth with one winding path to the center that you both enter and leave by. Constructed out of security barriers, its form and function stand in a stark contrast, a reminder that serenity is driven not by the place we're at, but in how we appreciate it.

Why did I make this?

A few years ago I was staying in San Francisco with a friend and fellow game designer near Grace Cathedral and he insisted that I try the labyrinth there. I am not particularly big on meditations (or cathedrals), but I have a lot of faith in my friend's recommendations so I gave it a shot. To be honest I was quite blown away by the experience of relaxing and calmly, slowly, walking the labyrinth; it felt like taking a shower, or sitting on a mountain-top, or standing in the rain. A few days later as I was standing on line to pass through security at the airport I was struck by how structurally similar the experience was to taking part in the labyrinth, even though emotionally it was entirely different (and entirely awful). The serenity of the labyrinth returned to me in that moment and has stayed with me ever since as I navigate airport security or post-office lines.

I think a lot about the importance and power of contexts, both external and internally constructed. The core of contexts power is that they're largely invisible like a font in a book they sit behind and around your experiences, supporting and informing them. It is rare that you have a moment so structurally similar and yet jarringly different as the labyrinth and the security maze, and rarer still that you have one so fundamentally and simply defined by its restrictions (voluntary floor patterns vs. crowd-control stanchions).

I hope the work gives people a calming positive journey and quietly alert them to the power they have over the contexts of their own experiences.