Gå | Walk

Volume 18 April 2019

Gå | Walk

Abstract
Under the general heading of Walking, this issue of Academic Quarter is dedicated to articles about literature, film and media, computer games, cultural history, migration, and aesthetics, which so to speak have reinvented the use of our legs in relation to one’s own and other people’s practices, and stage it as strolling, promenading, marching, flaneuring, sauntering, wandering, striding, idling about, ambling, loafing, and walking. The first article addresses walking in the context of cultural history and considers the creative potentials of walking, and the articles in the issue are organized under the following section headings: Literature with “Det spadserende i 2010ernes Berlin-litteratur” and “The Poiesis of Charles Dickens's Night Walks”. Media with “From Wander to Wonder Walking – and ‘Walking-With’ – in Terrence Malick’s Contemplative Cinema”, “Walking in Two Directions at Once Locomotion Techniques in Virtual Environments” and Parodies of Christian Wandering in Luis Buñuel’s Films. Aesthetic mobility with “When loud Weather buffeted Naoshima A Sensory Walk”, “Chasing writers’ ghosts through a modern city: Augmenting urban space with literary connections during the Tove Jansson walk in Helsinki”, “Urban Walking—an Authentic Experience on Stage? The Post-heroic Flâneur under Observation” and ”Vandringer i mørket - hvad man ser når solen ikke forstyrrer”. Personal mobility with “First Steps from Walking to Cross-Country Skiing: A Material Interactional Perspective on Ephemeral Surfaces for Personal Mobility”. Global mobility with “Mirrored journeys Central American and African migrants walking in search of another life”, and finally walking as a research method with “The walking cure Walk-along som undersøgelsesmetode til brugeroplevelser”.

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The Romantic Walk and Beyond
Jens Kirk, Jørgen Riber Christensen and Dominic Rainsford

Keywords : Walking, Creativity, Cultural history, Anthropology, Psychogeography

Abstract
The article will address the cultural history of walking, and it will critically discuss the creative potentials of walking as it argues that the Romantic walk is not the only feature of this. Here the Situationist concept and method of the dérive with its urban settings will supplement the Romantic walk, and various cases of both are included in the article, just as psychogeography, geocriticism and literary samples of these movements illustrate the cognitive synergy they have with walking. Finally, the article will introduce the major scholarly publications about walking.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.v0i18.3148

Det spadserende i 2010ernes Berlin-litteratur
Jan T. Schlosser

Keywords : Walking in big cities, Berlin literature in the 21st century, Berlin literature around 1930, Hanns Zischler, Tanja Dückers

Abstract
Two contemporary German books – Hanns Zischler‘s Berlin ist zu groß für Berlin (2013) and Tanja Dückers‘ Mein altes West-Berlin (2016) – express the criticism that inhabitants of big cities have stopped walking. The main subject in these texts is the walk in Berlin without having a specific purpose. The big city Berlin is considered a space of formation that should be ‘read’ to disclose history. The article examines if Zischler’s and Dückers’ walk is merely a part of a nostalgic culture of remembrance or still is a current way to move around in contemporary Berlin physically and intellectually.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.v0i18.3149

Walking in Two Directions at Once
Locomotion Techniques in Virtual Environments
Benjamin Schaefer

Keywords : Locomotion, Virtual Reality, Merleau-Ponty, Perception, Redirected Walking

Abstract
Walking constitutes a fundamental method for traversing virtual environments, i.e. pressing buttons as an abstracted way to move around such as in videogames. With the second advent of virtual reality devices, virtual walking has gained traction and is gradually becoming a more embodied experience. The ability of virtual reality hardware systems to rudimentarily track the human body allows us to explore a virtual space by physically walking through it. Room-Scaling creates a direct mapping between our bodily movements in the physical room and our corresponding virtual movements. Another technique called Redirected Walking takes virtual walking a step further by disengaging the physical from the virtual space – theoretically – providing the opportunity to virtual walk infinitely in a finite physical space. Based on my research with virtual reality developers, I explore the ideas behind different locomotion styles such as Teleportation and Redirected Walking and the ways developers use and trick our perception to create believable virtual walking and locomotion methods.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.v0i18.3150

From Wander to Wonder
Walking – and “Walking-With” – in Terrence Malick’s Contemplative Cinema
Martin P. Rossouw

Keywords : walking, cinema, Terrence Malick, contemplation, film style

Abstract
This essay considers the prominent role of acts and gestures of walking – a persistent, though critically neglected motif – in Terrence Malick’s cinema. In recognition of many intimate connections between walking and contemplation, I argue that Malick’s particular staging of walking characters, always in harmony with the camera’s own “walks”, comprises a key source for the “contemplative” effects that especially philosophical commentators like to attribute to his style. Achieving such effects, however, requires that viewers be sufficiently engaged by the walking presented on-screen. Accordingly, Malick’s films do not fixate on single, extended episodes of walking, as one would find in Slow Cinema. They instead strive to enact an experience of walking that induces in viewers a particular sense of “walking-with”. In this regard, I examine Malick’s continual reliance on two strategies: (a) Steadicam following-shots of wandering figures, which involve viewers in their motion of walking; and (b) a strict avoidance of long takes in favor of cadenced montage, which invites viewers into a reflective rhythm of walking.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.v0i18.3152

The Poiesis of Charles Dickens’s Night Walks
Jørgen Riber Christensen

Keywords : Poiesis, Dickens, Heidegger, London, Walking

Abstract
The case of the article is six of Charles Dickens’ articles based on his walks in London. The theoretical approach of the article is Heidegger’s conception of poiesis, in particular his central concept Geschehnis der Wahrheit (unconcealment of truth), which is regarded as a notable element of Dickens’ wish for social reform and his societal critique. This has the context of Dickens’ work as a reporter and editor of his periodicals Household Words and All the Year Round. The article demonstrates how the walks as poiesis gave rise to what it calls a topographical narrative structure. In the article it is argued that poiesis in the form of walking was central to Dickens’ social critique as it was manifest in his journalism.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.v0i18.3153

Parodies of Christian Wandering in Luis Buñuel’s Films
Lars Nowak

Keywords: Christianity, itinerant preacher, pilgrimage, profanation, parody

Abstract
This essay investigates parodic profanations of Christian peregrination in three films by Luis Buñuel: Nazarín (1959), Simón del desierto (1965), and La Voie lactée (1969). Proceeding from Jesus Christ, Simeon the stylite, and Santiago de Compostela, these movies focus on two central figures of religious wandering, the itinerant preacher and the pilgrim, whose devout essence is subverted in manifold ways ranging from heresy and eroticism to social failure and homelessness. In this connection, walking is distinguished from artificial and supernatural forms of locomotion, but at the same time connected to surrealist time travels and narrative digressions. The article traces how the motif of walking is related to the movies’ formal features and carefully examines the intertextual relations that tie the films not only to each other, but also to the picaresque novel as an important model of profanation

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.v0i18.3154

When loud Weather buffeted Naoshima: A Sensory Walk
Jasmin Kathöfer

Keywords : sound, soundscape, sound-walking, sensescape, David Sylvian, Naoshima

Abstract
Walking isn’t just walking. A walk, especially if you don’t concentrate on seeing, stimulates the senses. When musician David Sylvian visited the Japanese island of Naoshima in winter 2006 to record sounds for his ambient track “When loud Weather buffeted Naoshima”, he had in mind that the listener should hear the song with an MP3 player during a slow walk around the island. The recorded sounds should mix with the sounds that are created while walking: noise from cars and other pedestrians, wind, birds and the sound of the sea.
The aim of the article is to reflect on the sensory walking experience that accompanies Sylvian’s work. Other sensory sensations, such as the smells of the island and the tactility of the subsoil there, which I collected during a visit in March 2018, should also be taken into account.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.v0i18.3156

Chasing writers’ ghosts through a modern city
Augmenting urban space with literary connections during the Tove Jansson walk in Helsinki
Evgenia Amey

Keywords : literary walk, literary place, literary travel, augmented space, Tove Jansson

Abstract
The article employs the theme of a literary walk (Watson 2009), a practice of encountering places with literary associations on foot. Urban areas present especially suitable settings for such themed walks, as cities can have multiple literary connections, and literary places are located within a short distance from one another. In this paper, I focus on the sites associated with Tove Jansson (1914–2001), a Finnish-Swedish artist and writer, internationally known for her books about the Moomins. The study utilises an autoethnographic approach and draws on observations at the sites with connections to Jansson in Helsinki, organised spatially into a walk around the city. I analyse how urban space can be augmented (Sandvik and Waade 2008) by literary associations through narrativization of the author’s biography and a visitor’s own knowledge and imagination.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.v0i18.3157

Urban Walking – a Subversive Staged Experience?
The Post-heroic Flâneur under Observation
Marie-Louise Nigg

Keywords : flâneur, resistance, consumerism, stage-like, post-heroic

Abstract
The article employs the theme of a literary walk (Watson 2009), a practice of encountering places with literary associations on foot. Urban areas present especially suitable settings for such themed walks, as cities can have multiple literary connections, and literary places are located within a short distance from one another. In this paper, I focus on the sites associated with Tove Jansson (1914–2001), a Finnish-Swedish artist and writer, internationally known for her books about the Moomins. The study utilises an autoethnographic approach and draws on observations at the sites with connections to Jansson in Helsinki, organised spatially into a walk around the city. I analyse how urban space can be augmented (Sandvik and Waade 2008) by literary associations through narrativization of the author’s biography and a visitor’s own knowledge and imagination.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.v0i18.3159

Vandringer i mørket
Hvad man ser når solen ikke forstyrrer
Rasmus Grøn

Keywords : Locomotion, Virtual Reality, Merleau-Ponty, Perception, Redirected Walking

Abstract
Walking constitutes a fundamental method for traversing virtual environments, i.e. pressing buttons as an abstracted way to move around such as in videogames. With the second advent of virtual reality devices, virtual walking has gained traction and is gradually becoming a more embodied experience. The ability of virtual reality hardware systems to rudimentarily track the human body allows us to explore a virtual space by physically walking through it. Room-Scaling creates a direct mapping between our bodily movements in the physical room and our corresponding virtual movements. Another technique called Redirected Walking takes virtual walking a step further by disengaging the physical from the virtual space – theoretically – providing the opportunity to virtual walk infinitely in a finite physical space. Based on my research with virtual reality developers, I explore the ideas behind different locomotion styles such as Teleportation and Redirected Walking and the ways developers use and trick our perception to create believable virtual walking and locomotion methods.

Download    PDF    epub

DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.v0i18.3150

First Steps from Walking in Snow to Cross-Country Skiing
An Interactional Perspective on Ephemeral Surfaces for Personal Mobility
Paul McIlvenny

Keywords : walking, materialities, snow, social interaction, video ethnography

Abstract
This article investigates the ways in which a young child learns to sense and move through a transient environment while learning to walk on skis. Audiovisual recordings were made of a parent instructing a child on how to walk on snow and to start moving on skis. Focusing on social interaction, the article examines how snow is sensed and made salient in spatio-interactional practices of walking on snow for the purposes of learning to ski. Talk about the weather and snow surface conditions while walking over the snow develops the child’s feeling for snow as a surface for personal mobility.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.v0i18.3161

Mirrored journeys
Central American and African migrants walking in search of another life
Dolors Palau-Sampio

Keywords : migration, Central America, Africa, narrative journalism, walking

Abstract
Travelling on foot still constitutes, in the midst of the twenty-first century, a fundamental moment in a great number of current migrants’ journeys, both across Africa and Central America, fleeing from miserable living conditions and violence. This article compares an in-depth narrative approach to the issue with the mainstream coverage of the Central American caravan by the end of 2018, in order to reflect on the invisibility and vulnerability of walking migrants. While the caravan empowered and brought migrants the opportunity to struggle for a safe journey, this hypervisibility has not been translated into a better-contextualised account in mainstream media. In contrast, the non-fiction books and series of reportages published by Óscar Martínez, and by Xavier Aldekoa with co-author Ruido Photo, focus on the effects of the European Union’s and the United States’ externalisation of borders and securitisation policies, which force migrants to walk in order to avoid border surveillance and criminal organizations’ attacks, and, in the open desert, to face deportation.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.v0i18.3162

The walking cure
Walk-along som undersøgelsesmetode til brugeroplevelser
Christian Jantzen, Marianne Lykke, Mette Skov

Keywords : walk along method, data collection, mobility, user experience, experience design

Abstract
Experiences are seminal for human well-being. But experiencing is a complex phenomenon challenging standard methods of data collection. Firstly, experiencing is an inner process, which cannot be observed neither precisely nor in its totality from an external position. Observation studies therefore do not sufficiently account for this inner process. Secondly, experiences are dual: on the one hand, experiencing is bound to a stream of moments of sensing and perceptions, on the other hand experience is a recollection of such experiencing. Memory is a retrospective, but fallible representation of these moments. Interviews draw on and activate memory, but they fail to grasp the actual moments of experiencing. This paper presents the walk-along method as a way to deal with the complexity of experiencing. This method combines aspects of participatory observation and of interviewing as the researcher moves through space with the informants while they are moved by their surroundings.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.v0i18.3163