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WAN  September 2017

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Subject:

Re: Seeking input on what makes a walk into art; A Walk Made by Lining

From:

Deirdre Heddon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Walking Artists Network <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 07:33:45 +0000

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Dear William 
 
Welcome to the Walking Artists Network where thankfully our hundreds of members are not inclined to consider the idea that a walk as a work of art is a radical notion.  
 
Walking art is pretty healthy across the UK right now and hopefully WAN members will be able to connect with you during your Fulbright visit. 
 
I am at the University of Glasgow so a meet-up would be easy to arrange. You can find links to my walking projects below and relevant publications are listed on my university staff page. 
 
Best wishes and look forward to meeting you next year 
 
Dee 
 
 
 
Professor Deirdre Heddon 
MA (Hons), PhD,  
James Arnott Chair of Drama 
Deputy Head of College of Arts 
 
9 University Avenue 
University of Glasgow 
G12 8QQ 
 
http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/cca/staff/deirdreheddon/ 
 
https://40walks.wordpress.com/ 
https://walkinglibraryproject.wordpress.com/ 
http://walkinginterconnections.com/audio-play-going-for-a-walk/ 
 
 
 
 
 
 
-----Original Message----- 
From: Walking Artists Network [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of William Sharpe 
Sent: 17 September 2017 20:21 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Seeking input on what makes a walk into art; A Walk Made by Lining 
 
To the Walking Artists Network: 
 
I’m writing to introduce myself and report on an art-walk that you might enjoy pondering or possibly replicating. 
 
I’m a professor of English at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York, where I teach courses that explore the cultural history of walking. (I’d be glad to share my syllabus if you  are interested.)  I will be in the UK from January to July 2018, studying what is still a radical notion to many people, the idea that a walk can be a work of art. I am going to be based at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where I will be a Fulbright Visiting Professor.   
 
My focus will be Scotland’s role in the evolution of art-walking, but I would be glad to hear from anyone in the UK or beyond who has thoughts about the following topics:  1) how walking  is represented in the arts, 2) how it is involved in the ways that people interact with artworks; and 3) how words, documents, intentions, restrictions, audiences, etc. can transform the act of walking into something “more” or “other”—into something that is not “just” life, but is art, thereby soliciting for itself all the special scrutiny that art-status carries with it.   
 
I can be reached at [log in to unmask] 
 
As for the art-walk mentioned above, here it is: 
 
“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, Healthy, free, the world before me, The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.” 
                             --Walt Whitman 
 
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Richard Long’s pioneering artwork, “A Line Made by Walking” (1967), members of William Sharpe’s Walk This Way course at Barnard College, Columbia University, created a new work called “A Walk Made by Lining.”  It was performed in Riverside Park, New York, on April 20, 2017, in the following manner:  
 
Fifty students formed into two lines facing each other and took turns reading one line apiece from Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of the Open Road.”  After reading a poetic line, students walked between the human lines made by their classmates until they reached “the end of the line,” physically and aurally, advancing the walk by fifty paces.  The walk in its collectivity was then repeated twice, advancing another 100 paces through Riverside Park.  The walk concluded with the professor reading Whitman’s 54th line, “From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines.” After the art-walk was finished and its makers had dispersed, all that remained on the site was a wavering trail of scuffed dirt and leaves, while the passage of words and bodies sent invisible ripples through the air.  No museum-ready photograph of these ephemeral traces is known to exist. 
 
with all best wishes, 
 
William Chapman Sharpe 
 
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To join, leave or suspend list postings, visit http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/wan 
 
FRIENDLY REMINDER: if you click REPLY to this email, you will be sending a message to over 300 subscribers. Please do so only if you wish to respond to everyone. 
 
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