The Walking Encyclopaedia's Walking Artists of the Day - Ania Bas & Simone Mair, Anna Francis and Annalisa Lopez

In a continuing series throughout the duration of The Walking Encyclopaedia, we'll be highlighting, daily, the works of three practitioners who employ the walk within their practice. Each of the highlighted artists and artworks were submitted for exhibition to The Walking Encyclopaedia. In each case alongside their artist statement, a link to the artist's website is provided for further exploration.

The Walking Encyclopaedia is a co-production between AirSpace Gallery and the Walking Artists Network.

#10 - Ania Bas and Simone Mair - The Walking Reading Group on Participation, 2013
The Walking Reading Group on Participation offers a chance to discuss the issues surrounding participation, engagement, collaboration, and social practice through a dynamic walking reading group.

The artist Ania Bas and the cultural producer Simone Mair organise unusual reading groups: "The Walking Reading Group on Participation", walks along specified routes around a city conversing about texts that have been read beforehand about the concept of participation. They have already realised four "Walking Reading Groups" in collaboration with Gasworks and The Showroom in London and are preparing new editions for next October.
Ania Bas is one of those artists who enjoys blurring the frontiers between what art is and what it could be. Simone Mair moves between curating and art education. When Simone discovered that Ania had organised a reading group about participation in Cardiff, at the invitation of Elbow Room, she proposed that they planned something similar together in London, the current format of the sessions arising out of this collaboration: “We think that the dynamic of movement can mitigate the fear of saying something wrong in front of a group of 15 people sitting around a table.” During the walks there is in depth discussion of texts by distinct philosophers, critics and art professionals such as: Claire Bishop, Michel De Certeau, Emily Pethick, Louise Shelley, Emma Smith, Nato Thompson, Marijke Steedman, Jeanne van Heeswijk… “Yesterday for example we talked about a text where Grant Kester explained that knowledge ought to be mobilised, as its truth is then negotiated. We develop this idea of mobilization literally”.
For each session they prepare both different readings and different routes. To invigorate the conversations, people walk in pairs, changing companion and topic every 15 minutes, throughout the walk that lasts around 2 hours. The itineraries are not chosen by chance and have been prepared with the teams from Gasworks and The Showroom. Showroom for example has been developing for several years now the "Communal Knowledge"programme of collaborative projects involving local and international artists with people from the district where the organisation is located, so the route passes through sites linked to different projects. “But it’s not just a tour where we point to the right where see you can see this and on the left, that. Nonetheless, each day there’s a certain aspect of the text that relates to the space that can lead at a certain moment to the participants clicking, and thinking, “that was the place”.
As a counterpoint to The Walking Reading Group, another proposal that also plays with reading and walking in company is El Paseo by the artist Idoia Zabaleta presented during the encounter “3,2,1” looking at new scenic forms in the Alhóndiga Bilbao. It’s a performance that plays with the idea of walking, movement and group action. In this case a group of 9 people, who participate more or less as automata, read the novel “The Walk” by Robert Walser non-stop (during 3 and a half hours) while they move in an unpremeditated manner. The simultaneous reading, that requires a certain choral effort, aims to distract the individual from wanting to exercise control over his own movements, while the sound and movement also generate in the spectator an effect that escapes the control of the artist himself.
When you end The Walking Reading Group of Ania Bas and Simone Mair as much as when you end El Paseo of Idoia Zabaleta you walk home, thinking in movement, alone or accompanied, lost in your thoughts or allowing yourself to become absorbed by the landscape. Maybe you decide not to take the same route as always and in this more or less meandering, unconscious or planned and controlled derive, you come across something that you thought you were looking for. - SAIOA OLMO, 2013


collaboration |kəˌlabəˈrā sh ən| noun
1 the action of working with someone to produce or create something
2 traitorous cooperation with an enemy

art |ärt| noun
1 the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination,
• works produced by such skill and imagination
• creative activity resulting in the production of performances, events, publications: she's good at art

Ania Bas|anēaˈbas|
1 collaborative artist
2 developer of art projects

Website - http://aniabas.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/the-walking-reading-group-on.html


#11 - Anna Francis - Harlech Walk, 2013 / Sideways, 2012

Sideways, 2012

Anna Francis is an artist whose practice examines private histories, public space and civic languages; using forms of intervention, drawing, mapping, performance, consultation and photography to investigate the impact that artists can have on their environments. Within Anna's practice she creates situations for herself, the public and other artists to explore places differently: often experimenting with leading and instruction by creating manuals, instructions, kits or leading guided tours. 
Harlech Walk, 2013

Walking is used variously within the artist's practice; as a research tool, a conversation starter, a way to disseminate findings or as performance. The two a3 text pieces presented here were produced on walks. 'Harlech Walk' is a collaborative piece with artist Bethan Lloyd Worthington, who remotely lead Anna on a tour of Harlech, Bethan's home town. 'Sideways' is documentation of a walk around Zutendaal camp during the Sideways Festival of Art and Walking 2012.

Anna is a Director at AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent's contemporary, artist led exhibiting space, where she has particular responsibility for the education and outreach programmes.
Anna Francis is course leader on the BA Fine Art course at Staffordshire University.

Website http://www.annafrancis.blogspot.com


#12 - Annalisa Lopez - 3 Miles Out

3 Miles Out
Soundscape sourced in the local area: daily activity, fragments of conversation, personal stories captured around Well street. I uses all of these found elements to play with the fine line that separate local - the specificity of a place - and global - the sameness of a place to any other. 3 Miles Out is a record of a local community, its sound could be found anywhere else and nowhere else at the same time

Lopez works with participatory interventions and interactive installations of text, sound and images.
A sonic walk is the method she uses to research a new area.
By manipulating the everyday she stimulates people to move in the space around them differently, to stop and listen or to follow and instruction and contribute with their own personal stories.

Lopez' focus is on unveiling and indexing stories about the way we live, playing with all those idiosyncratic associations and thoughts that are so common and yet so private. She uses field recordings as a way to research a connect with a new community she’s working with and recordings of conversations and interviews as an ongoing archive of small sound and big voices that give personality to the area.

Website - www.annalopez.net

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