Walking Cities: London (second edition) brings together a new interdisciplinary field of artists, writers, architects, musicians, human geographers and philosophers to consider how a city walk informs and triggers new processes of making, thinking, researching and communicating. In particular, the book examines how the city contains narratives, knowledge and contested materialities that are best accessed through the act of walking.
The varied contributions take the form of short stories, illustrated essays, personal reflections and accounts of walks both real and fictional. While artist and RCA tutor Rut Blees Luxemburg and philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy recount a nocturnal journey from Shoreditch to the City of London; architect Peter St John of the practice Caruso St John offers a detailed and personal reflection on the Holloway Road; and architect and author Douglas Murphy examines what he calls London’s ‘more politically charged locations’ in his account of a solitary walk through an area of South London. Ultimately, Walking Cities: London seeks to understand the wider significance of changing geographies to generate critical questions and creative perspectives for navigating the social and political impact of rapid urban change.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Part 1. Site 1. My Kind of Town by Peter St John; 2. London Has to Continually Refresh its Offer by Douglas Murphy; 3. Against Porosity, Against the Crowd: Walking for a Spatial Complex City by Adam Kaasa; 4. Gravesend-Broadness Weather Station by Roberto Bottazzi; 5. Walking | Material Conditions of the Street by David Dernie Part 2. Night 6. London Winterreise by Rut Blees Luxemburg & Jean-Luc Nancy; 7. Night Moves by Nayan Kulkarni Part 3. Writing 8. Point to Point by Sean Ashton; 9. Public Notice by Jaspar Joseph-Lester; 10. The Rotherhithe Caryatids by Laura Oldfield Ford Part 4. Monuments 11. Squatted Somers Town by Esther Leslie; 12. Docked and Parked by Jo Stockham; 13. Freud in London by Sharon Kivland & Steve Pile; 14. Walking Round Trafalgar Square (Temenos and Omphalos) by Ahuvia Kahane Part 5. Music 15. The Travelling Mindset: A Method for Seeing Everything Anew by Amy Blier-Carruthers; 16. Practise. Walk by by Peter Sheppard Skærved Part 6. Dialogue 17. Curling up Tight by Phil Smith; 18. Walkative: A Choreography of Resistance by Rosana Antoli; 19. The Sound of Sweetness on the Grand Union Canal by Tom Spooner; 20. The Optimists by Duncan Jeffs
Jaspar Joseph-Lester is an artist, Reader in Art and Post-Urbanism and Head of the MA Sculpture Programme at the Royal College of Art. His work explores the conflicting ideological frameworks embodied in representations of modernity, urban renewal, regeneration and social organisation as a means to better understand how art practice can redefine masterplans and regeneration schemes that determine the cultural life of our cities. He has exhibited his work internationally and is author of Revisiting the Bonaventure Hotel (2012).
Simon King, co-founder of the Walkative project, is a tutor at the RCA. Currently undertaking a practice-led PhD at Birkbeck, University of London, King’s research is interested in the dialogic, convivial and performative aspects of group-led walking. As Noble & King he works and walks collaboratively with the artist Corinne Noble towards the creation of public art walks in London.
Amy Blier-Carruthers is a lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music and King’s College London, where her research and teaching interests revolve around performance style and recording practices. She has recently been invited to speak at Princeton University, King’s College London, and the Smithsonian Institution, and is co-investigator for the AHRC project ‘Classical Music Hyper-Production and Practice as Research’.
Roberto Bottazzi is an architect, researcher, and educator based in London. He is the Director of the Master in Urban Design at The Bartlett-UCL. His research on the impact of globalisation and digital technology on architecture and urbanism has been widely published both in the UK and internationally.