Performance Project

"On one level, Open City can be located within a tradition of publicly-sited performance practices. This genealogy of politically – and more often playfully – resistant actions, interventions and models of spatial occupation or navigation can be traced back to the ludic practice of Surrealist errance or aimless wandering into and through the Situationists’ deployment of the dérive and conceptualisation of “psychogeography” during the 1950s and 60s. In its focus on collective action and inhabitation of the everyday as a site of practice, Open City is also part of a trajectory of artistic activity – epitomised perhaps by Allan Kaprow’s Happenings – intent on blurring the line between art and life, or in drawing attention to those aspects of reality marginalised by dominant discourses and ideologies. Performed as part of an artistic practice, non-habitual or even habitually discouraged actions such as aimless wandering, standing still, even the (non)event of 'doing nothing' operate as subtle methods through which to protest against increasingly legislated conditions of existence, by proposing alternative modes of behaviour or suggesting flexibility therein. Artistic practice can be seen as a site of investigation for questioning and dismantling the dominant order – or “major” language – through acts of minor rebellion that – whilst predominantly impotent or ineffective – might still remind us that we have some agency and do not always need to wholly and passively acquiesce. Life itself becomes the material for a work of art, and it is through such an encounter that we might be encouraged to conceive other possibilities for life. Through art, life is rendered plastic and capable of being actively shaped or made into something different to how it might habitually be." Emma Cocker


The Art of Taking a Walk – Anke Gleber, early flanerie
Bone, Breath and Gesture – ed Don Hanlon Johnson
Wanderlust – Rebecca Solnit
A history of walking - Rebecca Solnit
Lost – Rebecca Solnit
Misguide to Anywhere -Wrights & Sights
Hunger – Knut Hamsun.
Invisible Cities – Italo Calvino
The Walker’s Companion – Ramblers association
Broke through Britian – Peter Mortimer. One man’s penniless odyssey
The 8 1/2fth wonder of the world – Roger Wakeling.
A walk through Nottingham
Dante and the Lobster (in More Pricks than Kicks) Samuel Beckett. Among several Beckett books that describe walking/journey.
The presentation of self in Everyday life – Erving Goffman
Behaviour in Public Places – Erving Goffman
The Revolution of everyday life – Raoul Vaneigem
Essays on the blurring of art & life – Allan Kaprow (Happenings, invisible art)
In Search of Charm – Mary Young. how ladies should walk!
Imagining the modern city – James Donald
The Ruins of Paris – Jacques Reda
Cities –Lawrence Halprin
Desiring to be led astray - Emma Cocker
The Six Powers – Randall Havas.
An introduction to the mechanics of walking
Also on DVD:
Le Signe du Lion – Eric Rohmer. A hard up american on the Parisian streets