“Spaziergangwissenschaft” the art of wandering is an ongoing art research by artist Stefaan Van Biesen & curator-writer Geert Vermeire, about walking in (imaginary) landscapes with (temporary) interventions, installations, drawings, sketches and letters about the daily and the special, the volatile and the lasting, the imaginary and the real, as in the Museum of Walks and the Library of Walks.

Stefaan Van Biesen, Beveren, Belgium

“Spaziergangwissenschaft”/ the art of wandering is an ongoing artistic research by artist Stefaan Van Biesen & curator-writer Geert Vermeire, about walking in (imaginary) landscapes via writings, letters, reflections, drawings, models, videos, walks, performances, discussions, creating a platform to share ideas about art in society, with references to famous historical walkers as Albrecht Dürer [1471 - 1528], Caspar David Friedrich [1774 - 1840], Friedrich Nietzsche [1844-1900], Fernando Pessoa [1888-1935], Joseph Beuys [1921-1986], Luis Baragan [1902-1988], Willem Schinkel [ 1976 ]…
This artistic exploration of the (human) space, by means of walking as a sensorial and kinesthesic experience, joins a recent scientific and aesthetical development, the Spaziergangwissenschaft (the science of walking), introduced in the nineties at the University of Kassel in Germany by Lucius Burckhardt (1925-2003). The promenadology implies the participation of residents, in a kinesthesic aesthetics, with small or as small as possible interventions in the urban fabric. Walking becomes an observing stimulus related to space. A cognitive dimension of the urban space articulates itself in a personalized urban layer, by means of a somatic choreography.
Walks transformed in art works, art works transformed in walks become “philosophical paths”, inner journeys, searches, with the nomadic attitude of the walker, a continuous, swinging movement in a changing, imaginary landscape, a flux accompanying the walker throughout all doubts on this road, and shared by the artist in every human being. A human as a carrier of thoughts. Spaces created with the walking body, resulting in human fields, where the artists invite to participate, via performances and walking together. The public literally steps into an art work, as a visitor and as the creator.
A walker leaves traces, moving in a panorama. Never straight, the landscape approaching the walker, carried along the trail, leaving behind tracks of thoughts and an inner journey.
The “Library of Walks” is a real library with wooden shelves, to be located around a tree in nature or indoors, between books in a (public) library. Situated outdoors it forms a closed space within nature, a silent spot to withdraw in. The shelves are filled with jars that contain traces, notes, objects that share the experiences of walkers. To create the jar library of walks people are invited to preserve a specific moment of a walk in the jar. It is a library made of glass books, inviting to reflect about the experience of other walkers.
“For our library of walks we invite you to walks and preserve the memories (what you found on the ground, loose parts of nature, notes, letters, sketches, photographs) in a glass jar. The jar can have any size you choose, dependent of your contents. How more diverse the objects, how more interesting the library becomes. You label the jar with your name, address, date and location of the walk and it becomes part of continuously growing library of walks. Every contribution and every walk is unique and your walking will be as well different, because of our request, you will look with different eyes to your environment and to your path. You will become an attentive observer”.
The Library of Walks is a growing collection of walks from all over the world, the last library was created in the Botanical Garden of Brasilia (Brazil) with children and adult walkers from all over the Federal State, made during the land art exhibition “Galeria Aberta”.
The Museum of Walks is another recent project, visualizing the invisible paths and the patterns of the trajectories of visitors to museums all over the world in sketches and in drawings. The project retraces the paths of walkers, created in space and time to research the act of wandering and drifting of people moving in spaces of art works.

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