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The Politics of crossing boundaries
The latest episode of Talking Walking is an interview with Irish artist Christine Mackey whose work has always tested one’s political beliefs. For the nomadic Sideways 2012 Walking and Art Festival in Belgium, Christine investigated invasive plant species that had ‘crossed the political boundary’ into Flanders, literally exploring and identifying the plants either side of the Sideways route as it passed through semi-rural, semi-suburban Belgium.
With the aid of local botanists and her trusty Collins Field Guide to Wildflowers (which she found was also one of the key references used by Belgian botanists themselves), Christine selected and catalogued a number of plants. On her back, she transported a miniature laboratory cum studio that included a stills camera, a GPS camera, a video camera, a mobile printer as well as a digital pen and sketchbook. In all, Christine walked (and cycled in parts too) more than 100kms from Brussels to Turnhout in Flanders, along a ‘meshwork’ of paths, tracks, alleyways and lanes over a four day period.
At Turnhout, in an abandoned barn, she created a multimedia installation, that included a video of her journey, sound recordings of conversations about plants, her sketches (and sketch books), and specimens of all the plants, calling the exhibit: Ecological Dispersals - the migratory pattern of plants. The installation itself, invited responses from visitors, and challenged their interpretation of migration, comparing that of plants to the transitory movement of people.
Talking Walking is celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2013 - having interviewed more than 50 artists, activists and professionals who have walking at the heart of their practice, Andrew Stuck from Rethinking Cities, has had the pleasure and privilege of meeting a diverse variety of passionate walkers. All of the interviews are available as free to download podcasts on the Talking Walking website - follow the links below.
Date added: 5 October 2013
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