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
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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