Walking & Sound

Holger Schulze
Walking & Sound

(Course Code: HMVB0157EU)


Every tuesday 3:15pm-6pm (in the classroom)
Every wednesday 3:15pm-6pm (at changing starting points for a sound walk prepared by you)


Exploring a given environment by walking is at the same time trivial and exotic. The long cultural history of walking practices and reflections on the effects and the practices of walking have inspired writers, philosophers, artists, performers and theorists. Walking is not anylonger such an unreflected practice as one might assume: the practice of Walks is today an artistic as well as a sonic and sensory research practice that has been further developed and refined by a large number of researchers, artists and musicians over the last decades.

This course focuses on sound and the sonic performativity of walking, hearing, listening and sounding. We will explore together the practical as well as the theoretical aspects of this practice. Therefore this course offers a combination of critical reading and of performance practice:

In the lecture on tuesday we will be discussing and trying to understand some of the crucial texts on walking, ranging from artistic programmes (e.g. Westerkamp’s „Sound Walking“ from 1974) to aesthetics approaches (e.g. Evans 2012) up to cultural theories around walking, mobile perception and ubiquituous listening (e.g. Kassabian 2013).

In the practice on thursday you, the students, will guide us through one specific and designed walk in an area of Copenhagen: with the purpose to give us, the rest of the seminar, an opportunity to understand sensorially, corporeally and kinaesthetically, how we can perceive and understand this area, this specific situation, this precise moment. Walking in these sessions is not a subject of our discussion — but actually a means of presentation and of making an argument by the senses, and in a situation.

Basic references

Westerkamp, Hildegard (1974), Soundwalking, in: Sound Heritage, Volume III Number 4, Victoria B.C.

Evans, David (2012), The Art of Walking: A Field Guide, Black Dog Publishing.

Kassabian, Anahid (2013), Ubiquitous Listening: Affect, Attention, and Distributed Subjectivity. Berkeley, CA: Univ. of California Press.



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