Book review: Walking From Scores

Book Review

2 items

books

16 items

featured

168 items

review

4 items

Score

3 items

Walking

456 items
Be the first to favourite this.

Published as a paperback, the books 500+ pages carry a lot of weight.
Granted, all material in its pages is available in both English and French, doubling the volume, but the contents is an impressive overview of the long-running history of walking art, as well; Elena Biserna collated the work of some 60 artists, spanning several decades, all, in one way or another, fitting the description ‘walking score’.

In the introduction, Biserna justifies her curation, leaning on a history of Fluxus, the Situationists, and John Cage, she points out that walking scores, written in plain text as opposed to musical notation, are more easily accessible. And, through that, bring a promise of a kind of societal discovery.

Biserna brings up the unique aspects of walking scores, as per Fluxus: they question notions of authenticity, originality, and auctoriality. That is, the work can take on different forms, can be reproduced, and sees the artist lose control over the final product.

This makes this kind of walking art ‘incidental’, which also covers my personal interest in the field.
Or, perhaps put more simply, walking art has the potential to democratise art, as it requires the audience to become creators, as opposed to spectators.

That’s not to say that all artists in the field also act on this to its fullest extent. Granted, though a significant portion of the work in this compendium predates the widespread arrival of the internet, it saddens me that, even today, too much walking art, as well as its analyses and developments, are corralled within academia, and worse, western academia.

Even just publishing a book, without making its material available to the general public on a platform with a lower barrier to entry, is an example of this.

Biserna does not address this to its full potential, though she does bring up the disruptive possibilities inherent to walking art, for example in terms of its possibilities around decolonisation.

The book is divided in three sections; ‘walking’, ‘itinerant listening’, and ‘playing on the move’. The material in the latter is perhaps a bit too involved and elaborate to be useful for easy consumption, but pretty much all pieces in the first two sections are easy-to-deploy methods for urban exploration for anyone, and all are an excellent refresher, or introduction, to walking art as a playful, inclusive, framework of participatory art.

The book is available from our bookshelf.

Babak Fakhamzadeh

Babak Fakhamzadeh

Founder Marŝarto23 shortlisted Online Jury 2022 Online Jury 2023 Online Jury 2024 SWS Grand Jury 2023 SWS23 shortlisted

Babak was working in ICT4D before it had a name (2001), and never really left it. Now, he can help you to get lost. Babak brought photomarathons to Africa (2007) and won the Highway Africa new media award (2007). He is the only three-time winner of th...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Also check out

Don Gill - Walking
Day 976 – Sugarbowl / Sue Higgins

10 Dec, 2022

ivanpope
100 leaves from Auschwitz

12 Dec, 2022

Don Gill - Walking
Day 978 – Fairview

12 Dec, 2022

Cheryl Markosky
BWW Review: TALKING HANDS, Streaming

12 Dec, 2022

Curated news
Canada’s new 700km island path – BBC Travel

12 Dec, 2022

Post
R&D – A Guide to Creating Spatial Audio Podcasts

12 Dec, 2022

Don Gill - Walking
Day 977 – Shouldice / Homestead

11 Dec, 2022

Walking Piece
London Christmas Treasure Hunt

St. Paul's Cathedral, London, UK

A walk through the heart of old London in search of the places, traditions and stories that influence how we celebrate Christmas today. Solve clues to find the spirit of Christmas along the way!

Post SWS22
Walking together into a better future 

11 Dec, 2022

Building awareness for a more planet- and people-friendly Tayport.

Don Gill - Walking
Day 976 – Sugarbowl / Sue Higgins

10 Dec, 2022

Curated news
Strava art lets you draw with your feet

10 Dec, 2022

Free for supporting members
walk · listen · café
Into the Night: An Evening of Nocturnal Wanderings

2022-12-20 19:00

Online

A gathering on the night before the longest night. This is the nocturnal world, the place we walk illuminated by constellations of twinkling skies and powerful planets; the locale where our perambulations offer other ways of dwelling and sensing our being in the world and its myriad human and non-human presences. Join us as we stroll together, physically and conceptually, sharing our stories, experiences, feelings, senses and night-time reveries. An evening with the moon and Fay Stevens.