RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2018

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66 Desire Lines, Dawdles and Drifts: Walking Together as Research (2) - Walks
Affiliation Participatory Geographies Research Group
Convenor(s) Morag Rose (University of Liverpool, UK)
Blake Morris (Independent)
Chair(s) Morag Rose (University of Liverpool, UK)
Blake Morris (Independent)
Timetable Wednesday 29 August 2018, Session 3 (14:40 - 16:20)
Room Sir Martin Evans Building - Physiology A Lecture Theatre
Session abstract There is a growing body of geographical research that uses walking together as a research, teaching and learning tool. For example, Bates and Rhys-Taylor (2017), Warren (2016) and Evans and Jones (2011) all demonstrate various ways walking can help break down hierarchies and encourage rich conversations about the environment. Wider bodies of work on walking art and psychogeography indicate methods that are playful, subversive, multi-sensory, interdisciplinary, fluid and performative (Smith, 2015, Richardson, 2015 and The Walking Artists Network online). These sessions are for anyone who uses, or who would like to use, or is just interested in walking as a way to explore, critically engage with, and understand space and place.

We want to share research and be inspired by the potential of pedestrian methods. Themes include
• How walking methods critically engage with and interrogate the environment
• Innovations, issues and debates around walking methodologies
• Contemporary psychogeographies and their relationship to the academy
• Activist, community and creative walking and mapping practice
• Walking pedagogy, its benefits, risks and ethics

There are three sessions in this strand. The first and third are panel talks about walking. Papers will be short and discussion and debate is encouraged. The second of the three sessions aims to put theory into practice with an exploration of the landscape around the conference centre. Walking artists, activists and academics have been invited to provide prompts for creative walking to be used by small groups. Participants will to go for an autonomous wander at their own pace and after an hour or so will reconvene to share field-notes and experiences. This is actively participatory geography and our walking includes sticks, wheels, orthotics and other mobility aids. We want these sessions to be accessible and welcoming to anyone who wishes to join in and will strive to facilitate an inclusive and diverse conference experience.

Links for booking to attend one of the walks in this session as follows:

Map It Out #3
Tapping Into The City
Tynnu Dwr
Linked Sessions Desire Lines, Dawdles and Drifts: Walking Together as Research (1) - Talks
Desire Lines, Dawdles and Drifts: Walking Together as Research (3) - Talks
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: ac2018@rgs.org
Tynnu Dwr
George Jaramillo (The Glasgow School of Art, UK)
Leah Fusco (Kingston School of Art, UK)
This proposal puts forward a short-guided walk and experimental fieldwork exercise to explore relationships between geography and design practice in the creative visual investigation of landscape. Using an accessible mile section of the River Taff as a case study, we will test image-led approaches as tools for the discovery and communication of place. We are interested in walking-drawing as a knowledge-seeking/making process, impacting and informing broader geographic research. In particular, the workshop will focus on the development of experimental approaches to image-making by merging methods from disciplinary fields and exploring relationships between scientific and experiential modes of measurement, using the psychogeographic derive or drift as the approach. Moving through the different zones of the river will reveal shifting geographies, stories and land uses. Using collective drawing, we ask participants to choose objects and materials to respond to ideas of navigation, mapping, scale, distance and viewpoint as they move through these zones along the river. The result being a collective mark-making attunement exercise into the environmental, cultural and dialectic conservations of the river and its environs.
Alongside the practical documentation of the walk, we will record conversations and reflections to capture the process of ’thinking through making’. This material will be captured through physical and digital data on the day, resulting in a public visual/textual/oral cross section of the River Taff via an online platform and will be available during and after the conference as an ongoing reflection and dialogue about the river.
Tapping Into The City
Nathania Hartley (Independent Artist)
The Tapping Into The City project examines our movements through private-public space in the city, the impact of urban surroundings on us and our relations with each other. Primarily taking the form of live art group walks, these are open to all and involve simply moving as one through the city space, listening and responding to its sound and the sound of our feet. The walks are simultaneously silenced (walking without speaking) and amplified (with pennies stuck to our shoe soles) and follow an unfixed route of the participants' choosing in response to their surroundings. There is also an online platform where research and relevant information on issues surrounding the topic is shared - www.facebook.com/tappedcity I also have a spoken word/video piece if you would like to gain further insight into the project - https://vimeo.com/186335190 The walks give a different insight into the built environment, shifting the focus to first mindfully and then critically engage with and reconsider the spaces which we inhabit and the ways in which these spaces operate.
Map It Out #3
Gwen MacGregor (University of Toronto, Canada)
Sandra Rechico (University of Guelph, Canada)
In 2011 MacGregor and Rechico created a project called “Saturday “for the Atrans Pavilion in Berlin. Passersby were asked to draw a map indicating where they had traveled that day. This simple request generated lively discussion between people and an extraordinary range of maps from the simple to the elaborate, the perfunctory to the conceptual. Over 100 drawings were collected. This same action was undertaken in New York as part of the Artists Walks: The Persistence of Peripateticism exhibition at the Dorsky Gallery. In this iteration the artists set up in two locations, The Noguchi Museum and The Socrates Sculpture Park. This culminated in a drawing installation at the Dorsky Gallery that included the Berlin drawings and the New York drawings. For the RGS session this same action will be undertaken in a location that relates to the conference. If there is an appropriate available space the maps generated from this action could be exhibited along with the maps from Berlin and New York
Walking and Playing Cardiffs Desire Lines
Idit Nathan (no affiliation)
Helen Stratford (University of Sheffield, UK)
When was the last time you followed a line of the pavement and imagined the future? Have you ever walked backwards in silence?
Combining backgrounds in theatre/visual arts (Nathan) and architecture /live arts (Stratford) oour work shares playful engagement with everyday encounters in the built, and at times, natural environment. We view play as a means of facilitating and questioning existing paradigms, challenging existing hierarchies whilst also offering new insights into
Contemporary conditions.
we propose a series of ‘walkshops’1 – participatory playful and discursive walks that offer participants opportunities to play and discover something new about the environment they walk through, via the act of walking and play itself. During the walkshops we will use a compendium of prompts, props and games we have been refining since 2012. We use a range of props from chalks, dice and cards to ropes and bells and wear co-ordinated outfits complimented by yellow bags. The walks are devised to include as many stops as possible along the way where dice are thrown and oversized cards chosen that propose either open ended poetic ‘scores’ that invite reflective engagement or ‘prompts’ for more physically active games to play, at times using simple props. The walkshop concludes with participants annotating a map that recalls the stops along the way.