Walking as Research Practice

University Liberal Arts: University Lecture Program

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Graduate Course
Degree Students (with Restrictions)
Walking as Research Practice
Fall 2022
Taught By: Lydia Matthews
Section: A

CRN: 9173

Credits: 3

Walking as an art form and a mode of inquiry has emerged as its own discursive field, with artistic projects, curatorial ventures and multi-disciplinary publications dedicated to exploring this terrain. This course will focus on how to approach the practice of walking as a means of investigating issues at the heart of your specific studio or scholarly practice—while simultaneously gaining deeper insights into the complex social, political, and ecological dynamics within our local environment. This form of research is less focused on reading and writing (although there will be some of both) than it is on becoming increasingly aware of one’s body as a multi-sensory vehicle for discovering images, stories, materials and urban rhythms. Not only does walking the city sharpen perceptual and critical observation, but it can also lead to the development of broader social networks or resources for future collaborations/ projects. In a fast paced and technologically oriented city like ours, what compellıng narratıves—both internal and external-- are only avaılable to us when we move slowly, with an eye towards becoming increasingly ınformed about a place's hıstorıes and contemporary polıtıcal realıtıes? Initially, we will launch our activities through group sessions on Wednesday afternoons, followed by independent meetings with the instructor as each student develops/archives their own unique walking practice, and one weekend day during which we will take one another on a mini-marathon of illuminating walks throughout NYC’s Central Park. We will gain an overview of key writers and artists whose work offers insights about the cultural hıstory, theory, and methodologies of walkıng (e.g., Michel de Certeau, Rebecca Solnit, Tim Ingold, The Situationist International, Janet Cardiff, Ulay + Abramnovic, Ernesto Pujol, Francis Alÿs, Stalker, etc.) Topics include: crafting aesthetic walking scores; exploring acts of solitary and collective walking practices (from sacred pilgrimages to virtual exchanges); understanding the politics of rebellious, anti-capitalist derives; mapping the relationship between walking and cartography; and encouraging the experience of “getting lost” in an age of GPS, among other themes. Invited guests will share their fieldwork and discuss how walking has informed their practice. Good walking shoes, a critical sensibility and a sense of adventure are required.

College: University Liberal Arts (UL)

Department: University Lecture Program (ULIB)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 12

Add/Drop Deadline: September 12, 2022 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: December 18, 2022 (Sunday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 9:00am EST 1/27/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Wednesday
Times: 1:00pm - 2:50pm
Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room: 715
Date Range: 8/31/2022 - 12/7/2022