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Walking in Air

Sun 29 May 2022
11:00 am
- 4:00 pm

The Project

Walking in Air is an interdisciplinary project that is designed to regenerate the encounter between poetry and music through walking and the text score and to give critical and creative attention to the element of air.

The project is led by Will Montgomery (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Emmanuelle Waeckerlé (University of the Creative Arts). At Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, Will and Emmanuelle will be collaborating with the poet Carol Watts and the artist/ composer Ryoko Akama.

The Walking in Air project is underpinned by a sustained reflection on air: as element, as weather, as the vehicle of sound, as breath. Will and Emmanuelle and their collaborators visit particular rural sites and walk separately or together. They discuss their experiences and generate scores, performances, images and recordings. Together participants generate a body of creative work (text and musical scores, performances, recordings), critical dialogues and written accounts that span the fields of poetry, experimental music, land-art and eco-criticism. (Examples of an earlier Walking in Air event are documented at the website of the centre de livres d’artiste.)

Want to get involved?

Walking in Air will be based at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft on the weekend of 28 and 29 May. Members of the public are invited to participate in the project on the Sunday, meeting at 11am, walking singly or in small groups, and then taking part in an afternoon workshop. The day’s activities will end at 4pm. If interested in participating, please email Will and Emmanuelle at walkinginair@protonmail.com


The Artists

Will Montgomery is a Reader in Contemporary Poetry and Poetics at Royal Holloway, University of London. His recent publications include Writing the Field Recording: Sound, Word Environment (co-edited with Stephen Benson, Edinburgh UP, 2018) – and the monograph Short Form American Poetry: the Modernist Tradition (Edinburgh UP, 2020). Will has released several CDs of field recordings, sound art and music.

Emmanuelle Waeckerlé is an artist, composer and Reader in Fine Art and Relational Practices at UCA Farnham, interested in the materiality and musicality of language. Her music and scores are distributed by Wandelweiser editions. Latest publications include A direction out there, readwalking (with) Thoreau (Ma Bibliothèque, Edition Wandelweiser, 2021)

Ryoko Akama works with installation, performance and composition. Her works sculpt daily tools and scrap wastes with invisible energy such as heat, magnetism and gravity into kinetic contraptions. She also composes and performs alternative scores and text works. She is a member of the lappetites of the 9-piece band a.hop. She is an artistic director for ame c.i.c., supporting DIY culture and underground art/music scene. She also co-runs the independent publisher mumei publishing and melange edition.

Carol Watts is a poet whose work is ‘characterised by a deep attentiveness to perception as an aspect of ecological thinking’ (Zoe Skoulding, Poetry and Listening: The Noise of Lyric) . Her most recent collection Kelptown (Shearsman, 2020) explores the coastal landscape where the south downs meet the sea as an imaginary and also ancient zone of inundation and interspecies dependence. She often writes in and through particular places, such as the seasonal and ghost ponds which are currently central to her practice. She lives in Ditchling, and works at the University of Sussex.

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