Category Archives: Pair Walks

The Walking Reading Group (2013)

Walking Reading Group Trailer from SPACE on Vimeo.

“The Walking Reading Group, running since 2013, is a project that facilitates knowledge exchange in an intimate and dynamic way through discussing texts whilst walking together. In this reading group the table is broken up by the street and the dominant voice is replaced with the sound of conversation partners talking simultaneously. Anyone can participate and the walks are free to attend. TWRG was founded by Ania Bas and Simone Mair and is run by Lydia Ashman and Ania Bas.

As a result of our residency at Art House, Jersey in 2017, we initiated an edition on Care, our ongoing long term focus, in which we are working with partners across sectors – including the arts, health, science – to explore and reveal practices of care. So far in this edition, we have collaborated with Ash Project, Whitstable Biennale, The Photographers’ Gallery, [SPACE], St Joseph’s Hospice, The Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, Arts Territory and Od Arts Festival.” [credit]

“Texts are provided in advance and walks begin at ___ where participants can also pick up a copy of the specially commissioned publication.

The resulting experience of walking for up to two hours, swapping conversation partners and perspectives several times, is one of intimacy created through sharing and listening, the respect for ideas and difference. Thoughts are processed quickly, the surrounding landscape becomes a blur, time is suspended and within this moment bonds between strangers are formed. …

Each walk is underpinned by a selection of texts that explore the theme of ____ from multiple points of views. All four walks start at ____ but each finishes in a different part of ____. Exact finish locations will be disclosed later.” [credit]

May Murad and Rachel Ashton, Walking Without Walls (2017-18)

Digital Dialogue on Peace, Friendship and Boundaries

Painters May Murad (Gaza) and Rachel Ashton (Huntly) digitally collaborated throughout 2017 to plan two 2018 Slow Marathons in the places they come from.

2018 is the centenary year of the end of WW1. It is also the year when Britain occupied the Palestinian territory of Gaza, – its turbulent history has since been shaped by this event. The Gaza strip is of exact marathon length (26 miles/42k) with walls at each end. We can not visit, and they can not come out. How can we extend and keep up friendships when we can never visit each other? Can socially engage if we never physically meet the other?

The digitally driven exchange project Walking without Walls partnership explored how we can collaborate artistically and socially despite restrictive political situations. The two artists shared through image and video, skype and whatsapp, sketches and text their respective landscapes in their very different geo-political settings. While Rachel negotiated her way with landowners and farmers, May dealt with the complexities of living in an occupied territory. Drawing on the plant journals of WW1 pacifist Rosa Luxemburg – created whilst imprisoned – the artists recorded and shared plants with curing powers in their different climates, while looking for new paths, friendship and ways of healing along the way.

Walking Without Walls formed two marathon length walks. One in Gaza and the other along the river Isla from Dufftown via Keith to Huntly. It featured exhibitions in both places, a catalogue of healing plants and a Pathmakers’ Gathering on political walking. See photos from the day here.

The artists’ path-making explorations into their own land were accompanied by a year-long exchange through various digital applications. In a time of rising nationalism and restrictive legislations that hinder crossings of national borders, the two artists have been exploring opportunities and limits of new technologies in fostering transnational long-distance collaboration. Paintings, drawings and other documentation resulting from their visual exchange was displayed at Tate Exchange on 25th May. ” [credit]

Claudia Zeiske, Walking Lunches (2010-2020)

images from walking lunches

Claudia Zeiske, Walking Lunches (2010-2020)


“Claudia Zeiske is a keen walker and founding director of Deveron Projects.

Walking Lunches are a series of moving meetings between Claudia Zeiske and artists, arts professionals and other participants.

Claudia provides a written agenda prior to the walking lunch, as well as sandwiches and tea during the walk. The lunch partner brings a camera and takes three pictures (portrait, landscape, still-life) on the walk. Afterwards Claudia writes minutes and archives them, along with the images taken by the partner.

Interested in a walking lunch? Contact Claudia

Recommended: good shoes, waterproofs, hat and gloves

Walking Lunches are an adaptation of ‘working lunches’, combining the purpose of a business meeting with fitness and environment appreciation. The idea is that instead of lunch-time meetings people are encouraged to undertake movable get-togethers, where they walk for the duration of a normal meeting (i.e. between 1-2 hours). Targeted for busy people who want to keep fit but can’t ‘afford’ the time.

‘The intention is to set up a network of walking lunchers which has a snowball effect over a 6 month period. These moving meetings will be orchestrated by myself; each week I will encourage at least one other person to walk. The walking partner in turn will commit to undertake at least 2 further walking lunches. If successful this project should create an exponential rise in the number of people walking over the 6 months of the project. If everybody I walk with (minimum 26 people), walks with at least two other people, this will already be 26+2×26 = 78 people. One can imagine how much this number will go up if every one of those walkers encourages 2 more walkers, and they in turn do the same…..’ Claudia Zeiske”

Clare Qualmann, Perambulator (2012-)

Via Qualmann: Perambulator is an ongoing artwork that explores the experience of walking with a pram (or pushchair, stroller or buggy). Working from an auto-ethnographic standpoint the project explores gendered spaces, maternal narratives and shifting identities, inequality and mobilities. Elements of the work have been produced for Lewisham Arthouse, London, Deveron Projects, Huntley, and Flux Factory, New York.

Please visit the perambulator website for more information:

Simon Pope “A Common Third (With Hayden Lorimer) 2010

two people walking


Simon Pope (1966-)

“Simon Pope’s work has been central to the way in which walking as a method of art production has been rethought in recent years. Pope has remarked that “My recent work has focused on walking as a model for processes of dialogue and negotiation”. He views walking as analogous to the processes of what might be called ‘togetherness’, and describes his work as fundamentally “dialogic”.

To create ‘A Common Third’, Pope undertook walks with invited guests to places that neither he nor his collaborator knew beforehand. Accordingly, both were required to take decisions spontaneously and to negotiate what route and course of action to take.

Pope’s work presents audio recordings made later by the participants about the process – about the mental pathways taken as much as the literal ones. The romantic tradition of walking often refers to solitariness and less often to walking as a form of sociability. Pope examines how relationships, including power relationships, determine or structure our experience and expectations of landscape. His works are experiments in discovering how we approach walking, and what we expect from it. In ‘A Common Third’, he draws our attention to the ways in which law, cultural practice and tradition impact on us – challenging the ahistorical, asocial idea of walking offering a realm of infinite liberty that supposedly sits in contrasts to urban experience.”

Carrie Schneider, “Hear Our Houston” (2012-2015)

“Hear Our Houston is a hub of public generated audio walking tours around our city.

All sorts of folks from all around town take a walk, record their thoughts, observations, stories, memories, and knowledge along the way. They then upload the tour to where anyone can download it for free and retrace the tour maker’s steps, layering meaning into geography, and trying on another person’s perspective.

Some tours rely on an expert eye view. Other tours share intimate glimpse of the neighborhoods they call home. Some tours are an unexpected pairing of a fresh pair of eyes on a well trodden path. Some tours are really about getting to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, paths that we may be curious about but don’t always have the chance to understand.

All of these tours give us a window into another part of our world.
All of these tours celebrate the journey.

They are not a list of easily consumable hotspots. From point a to point b, you walk, you discover meaning in details you never noticed, in in-between spaces you wouldn’t have sought to arrive at, and see even the familiar in a new light.

Houston is a city of great but hidden richness only truly discovered by experience and word of mouth. In a place where walking is a radical act, Hear Our Houston  is preserving our hidden gems, voicing meaning within geography, and celebrating our common sense of space.” (credit)

Screen Shot of Hear our Houston website

Screen Shot of Hear our Houston website

Sophie Calle, Suite Vénitienne (1980)

“At the end of January 1980, on the streets of Paris, I followed a man whom I lost sight of a few minutes later in the crowd. That very evening, quite by chance, he was introduced to me at an opening. During the course of our conversation, he told me he was planning an imminent trip to Venice. I decided to follow him.” – Sophie Calle

photos of a man walking away from the viewer in the city

“Sophie Calle’s urban expeditions might be thought to recall Vito Acconci’s seminal performance work ‘Following’, made a decade earlier in which he tailed strangers chosen at random without their knowledge, up until they left public space for their homes or offices. In Calle’s work however, the relationship between the artist and their public is different. This is not merely because the expected gender roles, where men act as predators and women are vulnerable, are inverted. The artist’s motivations are unknowable, her ultimate goals opaque, and her behavior seemingly contradictory.

If we might imagine Acconci’s role implies that he is dangerous – is a stalker or assailant – Calle’s activities imply she is a kind of private detective or spy in pursuit of knowing more about a person than they do themselves. The presentation of her works as a kind of diary is intentionally alarming. We are meant to feel both a distance from her or repugnance at her behavior and, despite this, a simultaneous sympathy for or intimacy with her. Unlike a normal detective story, Calle’s work leaves us with both ‘who’ and ‘why’ left unresolved.” [credit]

photos and text installed in a gallery in a long line

“She met a man, Henri B., at a party. He said he was moving to Venice, so she moved to Venice and there, she began to follow him. Suite Vénitienne was the resulting book, first published in 1979 …Calle documents her attempts to follow her subject. She phoned hundreds of hotels, even visited the police station, to find out where he was staying, and persuaded a woman who lived opposite to let her photograph him from her window. Her photographs show the back of a raincoated man as he travels through the winding Venetian streets, a surreal and striking backdrop to her internalised mission. The very beauty of her surroundings has a filmic quality, intensifying the thriller-esque narrative of her project. Sometimes her means of following Henri B. are methodical – enlisting Venetian friends to make a phone call on her behalf – and sometimes arbitrary – following a delivery boy to see if he will lead her to him.” [credit]

a sheet of tiny photos and text

Credit: //


Rut Blees Luxemburg, “Chance Encounters” (1995)

In the series, Blees Luxemburg photographed herself and another woman as they approached strangers in London’s Square Mile. The photos could be said to create a pattern of behaviors of people who inhabit in this urban landscape.

Her “Chance Encounters” are by no means actual chance encounters. Luxemburg spends a long time with the landscape itself before she snapped every photo. She is patient with her production, resulting in merely more than 20 photos per year[2]. She put a lot of conscious thought into every single shot because she wants her photos to tell stories and generate possibilities of profound thoughts. She wants her audience to think about what may have happened behind the subjects of these photos. In a way, we can say that they tell stories of the habitat without involving the inhabitants.

Another theme of her photography is the beauty of the unexpected. She loves to visit marginalized spaces in the city where we don’t usually consider appealing. She described herself as a Flaneuse while working on Chance Encounters. She wandered in the city and observed for serendipity. These moments come from the ignored part of our life but it reflects so much of our life.


Simon Pope, “The Memorial Walks” (2007)

SOURCE: The Art of Walking: A Field Guide

several portrait photographs

Simon Pope (1966-)

  1. The Memorial Walks was a series of 17 walks, each with a guest walker, many of whom write about landscape, memory or the environment. These walks were made in the vicinity of Norwich and Lincoln in the east of the UK and were commissioned by Film & Video Umbrella for the group exhibition, Waterlog, 2007. Each walker was asked to spend time with a painting of a local landscape, taking into memory the detail of a tree, often depicted as the central motif in the painting. On accompanying me on a walk out into the farmland and fenlands of East Anglia, each writer would perform a recollection, from memory, of the tree. In doing so, I had hoped that they might repopulate the countryside with images, summoned-up and made to live through the sheer force of a spoken-word description, as an act of defiance against forgetting.

    a gold framed painting with a curtain

    Simon Pope

  2. The Memorial Walks was made as a homage to WG Sebald, drawing on his use of walking and the stubborn insistence that the past would not fade from memory. In The Rings ofSaturn, a rough photocopied image of trees, which had been ravaged by the storms of 1987, form part of a description of the destruction of those things which seem permanent or destined to outlive us as human beings. In December 2006, on the fifth anniversary of Sebald’s tragic death, I walked with Nicholas Thornton, one of the curators of the exhibition committing to memory the image of the fallen, broken trees and walking into the fenland outside of Norwich. Here, we each recalled what we could remember of the image, casting out a partial, spoken­ word description into the prevailing wind. This became a rehearsal of sorts for the work that was to follow: a summoning-up of a series of tree-images as a metaphor for human frailty in the face, not only of nature, but also of economics, politics and so on.
  3. Walking with others became the focus of my work following The Memorial Walks,
    exploring how walking together can be a model for dialogue. I often continued to use spoken-word descriptions of things shared during a walk, such as the negotiation of the route itself in A Common Third, 2010. In Memory Marathon, 2010, I used a ‘walking and talking’ method to elicit descriptions from 104 walkers in a relay over the course of a day. This emphasis on the social modalities of walking led me towards a wider interest in how land can become an interlocutor in human dialogue and how other non-human things can be brought into the realm of dialogic art practice.

You can buy a copy of the Memorial Walks.

Marina Abramović and Ulay, The Lovers – The Great Wall Walk (1988)

Marina Abramović and Ulay, The Lovers – The Great Wall Walk (1988) China

Marina Abramović and Ulay, The Lovers – The Great Wall Walk (1988) China

The Lovers - summary

The Lovers – summary by Apramovic


Marina Abramović and her partner Ulay ended 12-years of intense personal love and shocking art collaboration, in 1988, with an art stunt never seen before. It was named “The Lovers: the Great Wall Walk” in which they decided to make a spiritual journey that would end their relationship: each of them walked half the length of the Great Wall of China, starting from the two opposite ends and meeting in the middle. There they would end it all.

Marina Abramović and Ulay, The Lovers – The Great Wall Walk (1988) China

Marina Abramović and Ulay, The Lovers – The Great Wall Walk (1988) China

Abramovic started walking westward while Ulay walking eastward, from the eastern end of the Great Wall of China, at Shan Hai Guan to the opposite end at Jaiyuguan. It would take three months for the couple to meet in the middle, where they embraced each other and went their separate ways. After covering 2500km each in 90 days, they would break up their relationship. They met at Er Lang Shan, in Shen Mu, Shaanxi province. Here, they embraced each other and said goodbye. From then on they would both go on with their life and work separately.

Abramović conceived this walk in a dream, and it provided what she thought was an appropriate, romantic ending to a relationship full of mysticism, energy, and attraction. She later described the process: “We needed a certain form of ending, after this huge distance walking towards each other. It is very human. It is in a way more dramatic, more like a film ending … Because in the end we both would be really alone, whatever we would do.”



Marina Abramović walks China’s Great Wall only to break up// › Performance