Experiencing the urban space through collective artistic walks

14:00, Sunday 9 May 2021 (30 minutes)

Ekaterina Shamova, LACTH laboratory, ENSAP Lille, France

his communication reflects on how senses are solicited in art projects of collective walks conceived by choreographers. My corpus includes such projects as “Slow Walk” (Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker), “Promenades Blanches” (Mathias Poisson, Alain Michard), “Attention à la marche” (Robin Decourcy, Mathias Poisson, Laurent Petit, La Folie Kilomètre). Their analysis questions the processes underlying the emergence of a specific relation to the urban space based on movement and bodily and sensory experience from individual and collective standpoints.

My first hypothesis: one experiences the city in a way where the sensory is inseparable from movement, in a dynamic relation with the environment. Qualities, rhythm and variations of movement, and constituents of the environment intertwine in the participant’s immediate experience. Secondly, there would be something shared in a group, individual experience acquiring its qualities through collective presence. How do we sense the city, individually and collectively?

My methodology is field-based and experiential. Interviews with participants of the projects and my own accounts of experience identify bodily states, sensations, movement qualities, relations. These help to dwell on the dynamics between the qualities of the environment and individual and collective sensory, bodily and imaginary experience. Interviews with artists and commissioners evoking intentions and conception processes complete this analysis.

LACTH, National School for Architecture and Landscape Architecture
PhD student, lecturer