An interdisciplinary, practice-based initiative led by Will Montgomery (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Emmanuelle Waeckerlé (University of the Creative Arts).

'Walking is itself a process of thinking and knowing… Knowledge is formed along paths of movement in the weather-world' (Tim Ingold, 2010)

Walking in Air in Ditchling (May 2021)

Our aim is to put walking and air into contact with one another, taking them together as both the object of thought and a metaphor for thought.

Walking is an action most of us do without reflection. The medium our bodies walk through – air – is even less the object of our attention. This project brings action and medium together with the goal of bringing critical and creative attention to both.
Working across the disciplines of Poetry, Music and Fine Art, we consider Walking in Air to be a model for speculative thinking, for creative activity and for reconsidering our place within the natural environment.
Our activities build on the rich body of poetry-music-environment encounters generated by the tradition of text scores as well as current artistic walking practices, and are informed by recent work on the philosophy and aesthetics of air.
Working with an international pool of collaborators (artists, poets, composers) and partner organisations, we host several walking-based events each year. These give rise to gatherings, workshops and performances. Participants generate work including scores, poems, images and audio, some of which is documented on this website and our host partners’, and some of which feed into ongoing projects by the practitioners involved.

'The mind is a landscape of sorts and walking is one way to traverse it…. As though thinking was travelling rather than making.' (Rebecca Solnit, 2014)

Walking in Air in St-Yrieix-la-Perche (Sept. 2022)

The terminology we have developed for our activities, used throughout our website, is outlined below. 

  • Fieldwork
    This encompasses preparatory research and the activity of walking in air alone or with others.
  • Recollection
    This is an integral part of our walking in air fieldwork events. The recollection is a conversation during which participants discuss their experience of walking in air and share materials, including research and provisional traces. This is sometimes open to the public.
  • Trace
    This is the material generated by participants during or after walks. Such traces may initially be provisional or ephemeral in nature and shared during the concluding recollection part of each event. Participants are asked to submit reworked versions of their traces a few weeks after each fieldwork event. These may or may not be finished artworks, and they may take any form that seems appropriate (image, video, score, poem, prose, soundwork).
  • Invited Participants
    Carol Watts (poet, UK), Ryoko Akama (artist, composer, UK/JP/KR), Antoine Beuger (composer, DE), Stefan Thut (composer, CH), Marianne Schuppe (composer, writer, DE), Sandra Schimag (artist, DE), Diane Dever (artist, UK), Rubiane Maia (performance artist, UK/BR), Sophie Stone (composer, artist, UK), Mick Williamson (photographer, UK), Maureen Wolloshin (composer, artist, UK), Melanie Wrigley (ecologist, UK), Leni Dipple (poet, ecologist, FR/UK), Romaric Hardy (artist, FR).
  • Current Partners
    Le Centre des Livres d’Artistes (Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche, France) – URBAN ROOM, Folkestone – Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, Ditchling.