“no walk, no work”

I’d like to carve out a place for my own writing in-between literature and visual arts. Erasure poetry, which I have posted on lately, is such an in-between art form. Some call it conceptual writing, which might be a good term, but to me it’s also problematic, because today conceptual art is almost drowned in theorizing – and I don’t want to do theory (any more): I want to make literature as art!

Today my ongoing investigation into form led me to Hamish Fulton (who have the most beautiful webpage).

Based in Canterbury, Kent, Hamish Fulton has made walking the basis of his practice for the past three decades, producing photography, text and sketches that evolve from the experience of solo and group walks in the landscape. Fulton’s art focuses on an engagement with the environment and the self through the experience of walking. He describes himself as a ‘walking’ artist, resisting the limitations of the terms ‘land artist’, ‘performance artist’ or ‘sculptor’.

Fulton does not approach nature as landscape, in the traditional sense of a still image, but as physical experience. He is not walking through a scenery, he is incorporated into it. While land-artsits chooses to rearrange the landscape, Fulton prefers that the landscape imposes itself on him.

Walking, for Fulton, is about transforming one’s state of mind:

I see walking as my form of meditation,” he says. “If we were going into the mountains and there was no trail, then we wouldn’t be able to think very much, because we would be paying attention to not breaking an ankle or falling over. Then walking becomes meditative. You stop the endless thinking mind. And that’s a good thing – because every now and then you want to stop going down the same neural pathways. Then you have other perceptions.

I didn’t start out as a political artist,” he says, “but when you are walking in 2011, you can’t avoid politics. If someone were to ask me what my work was about today, I might say justice, instead of the role of the land

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