Losing sight of the familiar

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Belconnen ACT, Australia

Walking piece details

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Artists and academics were invited to participate with an audio paper (a performative or walking audio essay) or an audio walk for the walking arts encounters/conference Drifting Bodies – Fluid Spaces / Made of Walking (VII).

“Losing sight of the familiar” is a 12 minute audio work by Tracey Benson. It describes a suburban walk among the trees and along the local creek which is located in the Belconnen region of Canberra. The focus on the audio is to concentrate on the non-visual elements of the walk as well as memory of places of significance. It is intended to draw attention to the sensory nature of walking and understanding movement to space as a fully integrated experience. It is complemented by a video work “Revealing the familiar.” The two works are intended to stand alone as individual works but when considered together there is a dialog between visual and non-visual elements. The walk itself is an ongoing conversation between the familiar and unfamiliar as it is my regular daily walk. Every day when I explore these familiar paths I search for something new and different. What plants are flowering, what birds are around, how is the creek running? What secrets does this land hold? The path has become busier with COVID-19 restrictions and with human activity the non-human goes into retreat. On the days the path is quiet, the birds and frogs sing their songs. This work is a playful study of Freud’s exploration of heimlich vs unheimlich in his essay “The Uncanny” – addressing the familiar and unfamiliar as different ways of experiencing the path.

“Losing sight of the familiar, an audio walk by Tracey M Benson, featuring DNA music composed by Josiah Jordan, made with Tracey’s DNA. With respects to all Elders, past present and emerging and in solidarity. Always Was, Always Will Be – Aboriginal Land.”

Tracey Benson

Tracey M Benson is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher based in Canberra, Australia. In 2019 she founded Treecreate, a social enterprise focused on creative action around regeneration, reforestation and eco-awareness. With an interest in ubiquitous ...

Near Belconnen ACT, Australia

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