One lilac evening in New York, Jack Kerouac walked and dreamt of all that was beyond a ‘white man’. In Paris, Georges Perec roamed and exhausted a place by recording what happened when nothing happened. Stanley Brouwn’s participatory mapper, Iain Sinclaire’s path orbiter, Peter Smithson’s wall gazer, Vito Acconci’s cinematic stalker – these uncommon walkers and walks have for centuries offered surprising, subversive and resonating analysis of urban lives. To ‘walk’ – to think a walk, to represent and to remember a walk, to talk about and to detail a walk – is to produce not only knowledge of the city, but also the making of the city. These wanderers, perambulaters, plodders and trespassers have seen the eternal in the transitory and the prophecy in the infraordinary through the act of walking, unleashing the city as its most uncanny and liberating. From the physiognomy of moving bodies to the technology of navigation, psychogeography to nomadic identity, journey diaries to hand-held cameras, the city of Budapest will be explored and quarried through the medium of moving feet.

 

Three kinds of Uncommon Walks will be explored in AAVS Budapest:

  1. Walks as measurements of alienation and intimacy
  2. Walks as scenarios of anachronic space-time
  3. Walks as curations of monumentality and banality

 

Focusing on District V as one of the oldest, central and most significant districts on the Pest side of the city, projects and workshops will unfold through the specific instrument of walking, applied with different speeds, durations, directions, starts and stops, continuity and disruptions, contemplatively and distractedly, individually and collectively, coupled with different methods of observing, recording, tracing, narrating, analysing, dialoging and dreaming. The various historical, socio-political, geographical, ethnical, economical, industrial and cultural layers of Budapest will be unfolded and examined through inventive and critical ‘walk’ methodologies led by tutors and expanded by students. For instance, pacing is to be explored as an act of measuring, as well as an act of curating; promenading is to be tested as a form of mis-en-scene and a praxis of identity; trespassing is to be exploited as an act of delineating and dissolving boundaries; and voy-aging/euring to be contested as a democratic act of pan-narration and as an intrusive facturing of subjectivity.

 

AAVS Budapest collaborates closely with prominent art and architectural institutions (FUGA, KÉK and BVA) and creative international practices (Hello Wood and Ivanka Concrete) based in Budapest, as well as brings together an array of individuals as guest lecturers and workshop tutors who have developed a body of work relating to the theme of walking. Specialised workshops, guided experiments and project tutorials will be interspersed with evening public lectures and roundtable discussions. The output of AAVS Budapest’s ten-day activity, which will consist of a mixture of drawings, texts, sounds, images, films, collages, maps, catalogues, models and projections, will be exhibited in public as part of the renowned Budapest Design Week.