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) CRL (organized by WAB, Nadine)

04.10.2013 - London Heathrow LHR

01.06.2013 -  Düsseldorf DUS

15.10.2011 -  Brussels Zaventem BRU (pictures)



Circling Around (without taking off) (2/2) in WABook 2, 2017

Circling Around (without taking off) (1/2) in WABook 1, 2015

      Fragment: Place names, landscapes, languages   (pdf, ENG)

Airports are 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, 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.

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 draw the route on the topographical map, but I do not walk it beforehand.

I am not a tourist guide. People can focus on whatever they like as long as they follow a basic set of rules.

After the walk we meet again to create a collaborative report of our explorations. This results in a map on which existing place names are complemented by newly invented names based on our experience.

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 our mind. It is an attempt – which is bound to fail – to be local, in close presence of one of the most delocalized landscapes of our world.

Bruno De Wachter

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