The current ecological and migration crises, the post-pandemic situation and new forms of virtual coexistence, growing cities and new urban planning solutions, which change our daily trajectories or restrict natural human movement altogether – all this sets the context for the growing artistic and scholarly interest in walking and its meaning in our lives, communities and societies.
The title of the symposium refers to the eponymous song “Walking is still honest” by the punk rock band “Against me!”. Laura Jane Grace, its lead singer, has said in an interview that she wrote the song when she was 18 years old, terrified of what was happening in the world, and that the only thing that seemed real and honest to her at the time was the simple act of walking. In this symposium, we invite you to remember this insight and try to convey the sincerity of real or imaginary walking through a variety of practices, methods, actions, groups, communities, stories, etc. of being and walking together. Perhaps this may be a key to different, universal forms of being together that are resistant to time, identity, generations, virtuality, urban and other problems?
Organized by the Vilnius Academy of Arts, the cultural centre SODAS 2123 and the Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association (LTMKS), the symposium aims to bring the insights of some of the most important contemporary historians and theoreticians of psychogeography and walking of the last few decades into dynamic practices of contemporary art and culture – about and through walking. “Walking is still honest*: about being and moving together“ aims to bring together practitioners and researchers in order to create a dynamic space and an opportunity to be together, or to be in a community. Using artistic and research tools we will explore, open up, justify and consolidate insights into walking as a method of creation, thinking, being together, education and place research. We will also discuss, when walking is a pleasure, vocation or mission, when it is a necessity or even a compulsion; how
contemporary urban policies encourage, limit, suppress, or commodify walking; how walking and its meaning have changed historically; what neurotechnological tools tell us about the physiology and psychology of walking today.
The symposium is open to artists, urban planners, art historians, cultural historians, philosophers, historians, sociologists, neuroscientists and other researchers who are interested in the act of walking, its various forms and cultural meanings, and the history, present and future of walking.
We call for contributions on (but not limited to) the following topics:
– Forms of walking/walking together in contemporary art, cinema, theatre, dance, music, etc.
– Walking together as a philosophical concept and way of thinking.
– Walking in the urban landscape.
– Walking as a way of building community.
– The politics and economics of walking.
– Walking as a vocation, a way of life, a necessity, a protest: nomads, pilgrims, migrants and other walkers.
– The physiology and psychology of walking: effects on the body, brain, well-being, etc.
Location: SODAS 2123, Vilnius Academy of Arts and various locations in the city, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Dates & Deadlines: Symposium Oct 5–7th, 2023 onsite in Vilnius.
Call for Contributions deadline June 15th, 2023, notification of acceptance no later than June 30th.
Proposal submission form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScPD4T5UyHq7H_YzRaee3vA9NZA9kqHiQJJPwutv4XcTLIBhg/viewform
Types & Lengths of Proposals
Walk, talk, presentation, workshop, performance, intervention, discussion, etc.
Duration: 20, 40, 60, 90 min or any other time slot which is necessary and carefully grounded.
Funding & Fees
Participation as well as coffee/energy breaks are for free. Selected participants will be issued a letter of acceptance which you can use for fundraising.
Selected texts and documentations will be published in a peer-reviewed volume (forthcoming 2024).
Organizers: Vilnius Academy of Arts, SODAS 2123, LTMKS.
This project has received financial support from the Research Council of Lithuania (LMTLT), agreement
No S-PD-22-47, Lithuanian Council for Culture and Vilnius City Municipality.
Dr. Vitalij Červiakov, Dr. Lina Michelkevičė, Dr. Vytautas Michelkevičius, Danutė Gambickaitė, Lina
Chief curator: Vitalij Červiakov
Co-curators: Danutė Gambickaitė, Lina Michelkevičė, Vytautas Michelkevičius
Vitalij Červiakov is a Vilnius-based artist who in 2022 graduated from Vilnius Academy of Arts with a Doctor of Arts (DA) degree for the art project on performative walking practices “Walking as a pretext and space in contemporaneity”. He participates in exhibitions and leads psychogeographical performative walks determined primarily by particular locations and rules set up by the artist, group dynamic, and different walking experiences. In 2017 at the National Gallery of Art Vilnius he co-curated the exhibition “Citynature: Vilnius and Beyond”, which combined artistic and scientific research, and was accompanied by artist residencies and a catalog. From 2011 he has also been working in various educational projects based on his artistic practice. www.vitaleus.com
Danutė Gambickaitė is an art critic, curator and organizer of cultural events, exhibitions, film screenings, residency programmes, etc. Currently, she is the Chair of the Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association (LTMKS), the director of the cultural centre SODAS 2123 and the curator of the gallery “Atletika”. In her curatorial activities, collective curating and writing are important to her, and have been a conscious part of her career since the very beginning. She has edited a book that crowns her field of interests “Choreografija: meno rašymas šiuolaikinėje dailės kritikoje” (Choreography: art writing in contemporary art criticism, 2019).
Lina Michelkevičė is an art historian with a background in philology and semiotics. Since 2014 she has been working as a researcher at the Institute of Art Research, Vilnius Academy of Arts. She is the author of the book “Būti dalimi. Dalyvavimas ir bendradarbiavimas Lietuvos šiuolaikiniame mene” (Being Part. Participation and Collaboration in Lithuanian Contemporary Art, 2021), and has (co)edited books and peer-reviewed volumes, among them “Mapping Lithuanian Photography: Histories and Archives” (2007), “Education In, For and Through Art” (2017), “Atlas of Diagrammatic Imagination” (2019). Her field of interests cover cultural and social participation, pedagogical tools in art, and convergent forms of art and research. https://vilnius.academia.edu/LinaMi
Vytautas Michelkevičius is a curator, writer and researcher, whose focus was gradually shifting from photography in the expanded field to media art & theory, and lately to artistic research in academia and beyond. He served as the artistic director of Nida Art Colony (2010–2019). Since 2019 he is the Head of Photography, Animation and Media Art Department, and Doctoral Programme in the Arts – both in Vilnius academy of Arts. Among the most recent books are “Mapping Artistic Research. Towards Diagrammatic Knowledge” (2018) and “Atlas of Diagrammatic Imagination” (co-edited with Lina Michelkevičė, 2019). He (co)curated Inter-format symposiums (2011–2019), www.umede.lt festival (continuous), the Lithuanian Pavilion in Venice Biennale (2017), Ars Electronica Vilnius Garden (2020), and Campus exhibition at Ars Electronica, Linz (2022). https://vilnius.academia.edu/VytautasMichelkevicius