Circling around (without taking off)

A series of walks around international airports

09.09.2017 - Vienna VIE (organized by the Perinetkeller - IODE)

10.09.2016 - Birmingham BHX (organized by the Still Walking Festival)

22-23.08.2014 - Paris Charles De Gaulle CDG (organized by WAB, Nadine)

16.08.2014 - Brussels South (Charleroi) Airport CRL (organized by WAB, Nadine)

04.10.2013 - London Heathrow LHR

01.06.2013 -  Düsseldorf DUS

15.10.2011 -  Brussels Zaventem BRU


How to describe an airport?

Airports are very similar all the world over. Regional differences are reduced to the souvenirs that you can buy in the gift shop.

Airports are also out-of-time. To facilitate long-distance travel by train or by plane, time zones were created, breaking down the natural connection between time and location.

For all those reasons, you could say that the airport cuts a hole in the local landscape. A hole that is not, like a rabbit hole, leading down into a bottomless black, but one that is leading up, into an infinite blue.

In order to describe a hole, you have to circumscribe it.

Circling around

I walk around large international airports and invite people to join me. We do not walk directly around the fence, but along roads and paths that are close to the airport. I will draw our route on the topographical map, but I will not do the walk beforehand.

I will not be a tourist guide. People can focus on whatever they like during the walk as long as they follow a basic set of rules.

After the walk we meet again with all the participants to create a collaborative report of our explorations. This will result into a map on which existing place names are complemented by newly invented place names based on our experience.

Writing a story

Circling around (without taking off) is a cheeky reference to the absurdity of tourism and travelling. It is a set of rules for a group of people, gathered for the occasion, to write a story in the suburban landscape; or to let this landscape write a story in the group. It is an attempt – which is bound to fail – to be local, in close presence of one of the most un-local landscapes of our world.

Bruno De Wachter

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