Walks - Made of Walking - Urban Emptiness Stefaan van Biesen






Made of Walking (IV). Cyprus 29 June - 8 July 2018.


Made of Walking IV 
29 June - 8 July 2018
Sites embodied / Nature Embodied 2018 - Akamas / Cyprus 
the Milena principle - Dance Gate Lefkosia in collaboration with Nicosia University - Fine Arts, Neapoli University Paphos - School of Architecture and the Museum of Walking London. 
Reserve the dates!

Pre-announcement / in preparation: 
Sites embodied / Nature Embodied 2018 is a continuation of the project Sites Embodied Cyprus during Pafos2017, focusing this year on the villages of Neon Chorio and Smigies in the Akamas Peninsula, inviting Made of Walking / Plant(e)scape, in a collaboration with University of Nicosia / Fine Arts and Neapoli University Pafos / School of Architecture. 

Theme of Made of Walking this year is Plant(e)scape, relating to human motion and emotion in a plenary botanical background, and combining walking as a creative instrument with two emergent sciences: Spaziergangwissenschaft (promenadology) and Critical Plant Studies (Vegetal Philosophy: Plant-Thinking). Promenadology is a "tool" to explore our everyday living environment, as well as for delivery of content and knowledge, in combination with Critical Plant Studies, considering the plants as living entities with their own consciousness, as thinking, sentient beings, not mere objects to be studied and classified; they are also agents in the production of meaning. Following the logic of a symbiotic being in the world, (shared by humans, animals and plants), where the anthropomorphic centrality is lost, we aim to recover a vegetal point of view and creating new ecological meanings that may deepen symbolic and aesthetic levels. 

The gathering will feature live performance works, workshops, lectures, round tables with established and emerging performance artists, walking artists and with researchers. 

Live performances by the participating artists and students: to be held in landscape / countryside throughout the event with the participation of the general public/local residents. 
Workshops by the artists that will lead to live performances: for general public and local residents along workshops for students of various disciplines of the institutes involved
Public talks, presentations and conferences, open to anyone interested. 
An open an international digital platform during and after the event, extending the gathering on a worldwide level, including streaming and live podcasts of the actions and talks to the broad network of Made of Walking and Talking Walking / Museum of Walking. 
Concept Plant(e)scape by Simona Vermeire. 
Open call for participants will be published in February.







Spaziergangwissenschaft - the urban flaneur.


Walks [traces of memory. Walking as a science, as an ecological gesture, an invitation to wander]. An hommage to Caspar David Friedrich. [1774 - 1840]. It is a meeting place for new ideas and initiatifs.


Stefaan van Biesen’s way of thinking is in a current way in keeping with the nomadic aspect of the renaissance artists, who travelled all over Europe. Dürer is a striking example of this. These journeys were art projects, in which streams of thoughts, drawings and other artefacts arose from encounters. These journeys were laboratories of thoughts. Knowledge transformed into an impassioned knowledge. Stefaan van Biesen shows this lab. Notes, artefacts and drawings embellish his journey.




Since 1990 Stefaan van Biesen undertakes, at home and abroad, walks, which, by way of performance, he documents with video, pictures, models, texts, drawings. The Swiss sociologist and urbanist, Lucius Burckhardt [1925-2003] introduced in the nineties the concept: 'Spaziergangwissenschaft'. Stefaan van Biesen wanted to expand this 'science of walking'. It can be seen as a subjective thought exercise in the urban texture and the landscape, ['Head Wanderer' 2002]. This resulted in 'Sensitive islands' where social observations from an unbiased position were recorded. Thus arose in various libraries 'Libraries of the Walks' [the most recent was seen in Brasilia 2012, [Jardim Botanico, Brazil]. The core remains a question, an invitation to the 'art of wandering', where the destination is secondary to the road itself. The day as a cycle of meetings, the body as a moving center, instrument of knowledge, experience and creativity.





Video Still [My load is undefined] [1990] 2 day walking performance on several locations in Belgium. 






'In the work of Stefaan van Biesen an associative solidity has arisen between thinking, acting, environment and well-being. Formulated as a question: 'how do our thoughts manifest themselves via acts in our environment and to what extent do they contribute to our well-being?' (Stef Van Bellingen, 2006).


The body is experienced as an influential instrument, a subject that feels out its environment and resonates out of a sensitive thinking. The body thus moves in an optical and emotional field out of a panoramic perspective, a sanctuary.







Chronicle of the urban walker

'The flaneur walks in the city's hustle and bustle as a devoted observer, who with great excitement absorbs everything in order to try to understand life and to wonder. In the midst of all urban activity he solves and becomes one with the city he has become.
The flaneur feels at home everywhere. His true 'home', however, is his body. A silent person that walks through squares and streets. It's an important and necessary feeling to want to know the world and to see it, always with other eyes. To be carried away completely and the same time to hide yourself visibly. The will to be that coincidental passant, a croniqeur incognito. The desire to refine all life art to taste full life as a shivering fish in the expanding universe. This vacuum of nourishing energy, flowing from the centuries-knocking heart of the city. And this is what makes us come home.'

Stefaan van Biesen








Thoughts of a coincidental walker (in a city park).

'The black bird above me knows that the evening is falling. It croaks its dissatisfaction and then flies away, far from the place where I stand. It is like a little rascal who tries to chase me away. I know it is there, hidden between the foliage, waiting for me to leave. It sees me as an uninvited guest in its sunroom and claims this spot. A soft tangle of countless weak noises makes it clear that I am not alone on this path. I am a walker with an inward turned ear, listening to the beat of my heart, and to how my lungs fill up with air and release it after every breath I take. A body that sways like a feather, a vibrating string in a big sound box named world. A strange kind of music appears out of nothingness.

It sounds like humming, the buzzing of a dancing bee in its hive. The throat, a shaft of noises, through which everything has to be shoved. And it fades away through the thin layers of air around me. Words, which dissolve into nothingness, thoughts which keep spinning around in your head.

Whispering is nothing more than careful listening to oneself.'

Stefaan van Biesen.







"Modern cities and towns have often forgotten how to listen to walking and the needs of people who are walking. With a focus on two questions, interspersed with short walks. How can the ideas of listening to walking and listening while walking be brought into the day-to-day worlds of city planning and design? How can the worlds of art and walking advocacy work together to help communities get the mix of physical and spiritual walking space that they need to make healthier and happier places?"





W A L K I N G A S A P R A C T I C E : M A D E O F W A L K I N G .

['not all of those who wander are lost'].


Made of Walking takes shape as an international nomadic school and a festival, focusing on interdisciplinary approaches of walking practices, inviting walking artists and walking practitioners, with actions and workshops, in an atmosphere of experiental dialogue and learning.

Made of Walking. the Milena principle organizes a forum with a series of walks and walking workshops,  focussing on dialogues between performance, arts, literature and new media, inviting artists, writers, walkers, performers, musicians and composers, sound designers, new media artist, developers, teachers, researchers, experts and scientists of different fields, to share their experiences and to explore together topics related to walking practices. With contributors from the US, Canada, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, Egypt, Israel, India, France, UK, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Turkey, Cyprus and Greece.


Read more about Made of Walking Stefaan van Biesen > > >



















The philosophical flaneur

A total sensorial experience of our environment is only possible if all our senses are redefined in a harmonious perception and 're-fine-tuned'  by a ' feeling thinking / feeling thinking'. Color, smell, sound, feelings, are a (higher or lower) octave of each other. On one long imaginary string, they flow from one to the other. All these stimuli and sensations are a manifestation of vibration (or frequencies) at different levels. In this way, the color 'red' is another harmonic manifestation of the tone 'do'. A Scent Of Silence is an exercise in resonance, the awareness that we are more than just 'form'. Everything in the universe is reducible to a number and frequency and is related to each other. We are sensible moving color and sound.






U R B A N E M P T I N E S S Walking the Cities in silence.



Urban Emptiness


The project suggests an interdisciplinary investigation of emptiness and silence in three contemporary cities: Athens, Edinburgh and Brussels. The aim is to highlight the importance of real and imaginary/hidden landscapes in the urban environment and explore different conditions of intimacy in their understanding. Through three main actions that involve different methodological strategies (workshops, performative projects, open discussions and exhibitions), the project intends to contribute to the discourse about the social, educational, financial, ecological and cultural value of an experiential/performative understanding of silence and emptiness in urban life. Acknowledging the significance of the contribution of diverse groups of people in its results, this pilot study invites university students and local citizens in its actions.  


Read more about Urban Emptiness Network Stefaan van Biesen > > >


An interdisciplinary investigation of emptiness and silence in contemporary cities, now extended to Brussels, New York, Athens and Nicosia/Limassol, after a pilot project involving Edinburgh, Athens and Brussels with related exhibitions and actions in Brussels (QO-2 / RITCS School of Arts), Athens (Benaki Museum - EMST National Museum of Contemporary Arts Athens / School of Architecture - NTUA National Technological University Athens) and Edinburgh (Edinburgh College of Arts) and in Limassol (NeMe Arts Center / CUT Cyprus University of Technology) in 2016 and collaborations in Lesbos (Aegean University) and New York (Studio Walking as Practice / Parsons New School NY).


The aim of this network between cities, institutions and artists/reserachers is to highlight the importance of real and imaginary/hidden landscapes in the urban environment and explore different conditions of intimacy in their understanding.


Through three main actions that involve different methodological strategies (workshops, performative projects, open discussions and exhibitions), the project intends to contribute to the discourse about the social, educational, financial, ecological and cultural value of an experiential/performative understanding of silence and emptiness in urban life.




[Urban Emptiness] Exhibition Sculpture Court of the ECA Main Building ⋈ Edinburgh Scotland UK 2016.






P A S S A G E S [ W A L K I N G A S A P R A C T I C E ] 2 0 1 6 .

['not all of those who wander are lost'].


7 walks La Romieu France during the solo exhibition 'Passages' 2016 & 'Made of Walking' 2017.









©stefaan van biesen-annemie mestdagh 23.06.2018