On its way north toward the Normandy coast, the Seine river loops back and forth lazily after leaving Paris. Saint-Ouen sits between the first loop and the orbital road that separates Paris and its immediate suburbs. In the seventeenth century, it was the site of market gardens where cabbages, onions, carrots, beets and leeks were grown to be sold at the Paris Halles, and a holiday resort for nobles and aristocrats. Renamed Bains-sur-Seine during the Revolution, it was an ideal place for a picnic.
In the early afternoon of December 12, 2009, I joined a group of pedestrians at the corner of the rue Francis Garnier (“explorer and naval officer”) and the Boulevard Bessières to walk with artist Marie Preston from Paris to Saint-Ouen following the old railway line. The route had been drawn beforehand on a map: “Walking close to the railway line of the docks, we’ll leave Paris as we imagine walking through the tunnel under the fortifications. Then little by little we leave the transparent world of bureaucratic architecture to make our way through a silent, industrial desert until the river rises ahead.”
 One of the “Boulevards of the Marshals” that encircle Paris, named after Napoleonic-era marshals.
.Marie Preston, “Le raccordement (Paris-Saint-Ouen) : balade par Marie Preston” http://www.mainsdoeuvres.org/article740.html
Read more: PDF first draft
Article written on invitation for the Swiss architecture and design journal Pamphlet to be published by the Chair of Professor Christophe Girot at the Institute of Landscape Architecture, ETH Zurich for its issue “Going Afield” (2019).
Study Day on May 31 at Aix-Marseille University organized by Anna Guilló and Clément Bodet with short presentations by Clément Bodet, Aline Caillet, Arno Gisinger, Anna Guilló, Pierre-Damien Huyghe, Karen O’Rourke, Florent Perrier and Eric Watier. Abstracts (in French).
My keynote speech is scheduled for May 19th at 6 pm. 7th Inter-format Symposium Along Lines, at Nida Art Colony, Lithuania.
Abstract: Space doesn’t just exist; it has been produced from a primary matter, nature, argues Henri Lefebvre. It is the result of activity – political products and strategic spaces – that implies economics and technique but goes beyond them. There is not one social space but many.
As GPS technology came of age in the mid 1990s, artists turned to walking as a symbolic form, a way to pursue architectural concerns or to explore spatial perception. By the early twenty-first century, the convergence of global networks, online databases and new tools for location-based mapping coincided with the renewal of interest in walking as an art form. Imagining the city (and the world) as a set of crisscrossing paths, practitioners of locative media embedded stories and sounds in the landscape. Instead of “colonizing space” as mapmakers are wont to do, by eliminating the traces of the practices that produced their maps, they developed techniques of spatial annotation to retrieve lost layers of meaning.
“Remaking the world” is often done in smoke-filled cafes. A more effective tactic might be called “applied pedestrianism”: the use of walking, the lines it makes and the experiences it offers, to produce new spaces. Continue reading
I have been invited to speak at the 7th Inter-format Symposium Along Lines, by Nida Art Colony on May 19- 22 2017. The symposium “will reflect on the line as a very basic visual element and medium of knowledge. In the geopolitical context, the shoreline and borders of the Curonian spit, a group of artists, philosophers, scientists, archaeologists, dancers and musicians is invited to reflect on the contemporary means/gesture of the line facing fluctuating information, ecological changes and new territories. Using the line as a symbolic/metaphoric as well as analytical instrument the symposium presents different strategies to sketch and connect the world through methods of mapping, walking, drawing, recording, performing, swimming, writing, reading or singing.” Continue reading
Frank Popper’s title Art, action and participation is the theme of the 15th International Meeting of Art and Technology (# 15.ART) in Brasilia at the Museu Nacional da República. The conference runs from October 3 – 6, 2016. I’ll be speaking tomorrow at 8:30 am with Gilbertto Prado. The exhibition EmMeio#8.0, curated by Maria Luiza Fragoso, Tania Fraga and Suzete Venturelli, opens tomorrow and runs till October 30.