In January and February I have a ‘virtual’ Residency as part of the http://walkinglab.org project, run by an international and interdisciplinary group of researchers and partners, including Stephanie Springgay and Sarah Truman (see here). The initiative creates a collaborative network of those interested in walking as research methodology, including arts-based approaches to documenting, reflecting on and refracting walking research.
The Residencies allow researchers to explore a specific case or example, and include blog posts on work in process. You can find the Resident’s Blogs here – they are a great selection of theoretically, empirically and artistically informed approaches to how walks and walking generate ways of thinking with and understanding the social world. I’m really pleased to be part of the project.
The case study that I’ll be exploring during the Residency will constitute one chapter of the Engaging Futures book. It seeks to develop the method of walking - which has, to date, primarily been a means of examining the dynamics of space and place (see eg Evans and Jones 2011, Jones et al 2008, Kusenbach 2003, Bates and Rhys Taylor forthcoming) - in order to consider temporality and futures. In particular, the Residency will document the objects, devices, and materials through which temporality is encountered on a series of walks. It will do this through different visual and sensory media, including photographs, video and sound recordings, and will consider how these mediums may document the ‘same’ walk similarly and differently.
Preliminary research has indicated that these objects, devices and materials may include traffic lights, door bells, signs, shop opening hours, seasons, as well as more readily identifiable 'clock time' such as public clocks and timetables. What I also aim to do in the Engaging Futures book is explore the temporalities that the objects, devices, materials and media identified generate and gesture towards, including, for example, waiting, rushing, checking and repetition, paying particular attention to how the future is involved.
The blog posts for the Residency will be published on the Walking Lab site – I’ll post links to them here as I go along.
Bates, Charlotte and Rhys-Taylor, Alex (forthcoming 2017) Walking Through Social Research, London: Routledge.
Evans, James, & Jones, Phil (2011) ‘The Walking Interview: Methodology, Mobility and Place’, Applied Geography, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 849-858.
Jones, Phil, Bunce, Griff, Evans, James, Gibbs, Hannah, and Ricketts Hein, Jane (2008) ‘Exploring Space and Place with Walking Interviews’, Journal of Research Practice, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 1-9.
Kusenbach, Margerethe (2003). ‘Street Phenomenology: The Go-Along as Ethnographic Research Tool’, Ethnography, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 455-485.