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walking in place

Nick Brown has created extensive documentation of his Psychogeographic pursuits at Walkinginplace.com. As an artist based in Champaign, Illinois, Mr. Brown has focused upon the mapping of his place and the actions that occur (or once occurred) in this place. Performance, derives, extensive documentation and literary references along the way has created an extensive portfolio both Psychogeographic and performative in nature.

The extent to which Nick Brown interprets “place” is evident mid way through the opening page of his site: “… walkers >> words >> rationale >> bibliography >> calendar >> weblog >> radio >> symposium >> film series >> revolution seeds >> biodiesel >> permaculture >> natural building …”, and that’s just the beginning. Mr. Brown is actively seeking to understand and explore the simple act of walking as both a response to an environment and as an act of pursuance for finding new aspects of the place.

A specific example of Nick Brown’s actions is a derive entitled “Bison Traces”. The documentation shows himself and friends partaking in the fording of streams that bison once had to endure in this place. This documentation is supported with photographs, maps, philosophical texts and Quicktime movies of the performances. This level of display for consideration of context, concept, execution and reflection is consistent through out the portfolio of Mr. Brown. This shows a desire by the artist to not only communicate his interests to the uninformed audience stopping at his site, but to cause a catalyst of inspiration for others to pursue this interest in place.

Mr. Brown has a few projects by which he is already tutoring the inspiration of the place. “Grid Tours” is a guided derive by Mr. Brown to investigate one of the grid squares on a map of Champaign. What ever experience the participant takes from the derive can be interpreted by them, but he “can not be held liable for anything bad (or good) that occurs during the tour”. The inspiration goes two ways, however; as the participants walk, they generate questions that Mr. Brown will pose to other participants. The handing over of question Is a symbolic request by Mr. Brown to receive a token of thought for the access of the places he invites others to explore. Other projects that might inspire other persons to act are “Square Mile”, and “Walk to walk”. These projects force the viewer or participant to reconsider a place, which is the primary concern of Mr. Brown.

Walkinginplace offers the psychogeographer a multitude of projects from which to take inspiration. Using the countryside as a source of Psychogeographic creation questions the urban landscape from which many psychogeographers pull from. Contrasting this idea, the amount of interpretation for a single place can inspire reconsideration of places by any artist so as to inspire fresh perspectives upon stale or previously investigated sites.

Posted by Gabe in performance :: public space project | Permalink


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Tracked on Apr 7, 2004 12:02:49 PM


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