Daniel Beerstecher is a walking artist from Germany. Over the last few years, he has been focussing on walking slowly, very slowly – just two metres a minute. In our conversation, we explore why and how he has achieved this, as well as how it has changed him personally, and how it has changed the way others see him. We live in a society where everything appears to be speeding up, yet here is someone deliberately going as slow as he can; he is curious too, to see if he can influence how Artificial Intelligence and robots in particular, can be taught to slow down. 24’13” 11.3MB
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Emma Griffin is a transport journalist, turned pedestrian activist, and maker of Footways maps of London, that identify calm and pedestrian-friendly routes and streets for us on foot to enjoy. One such route is the canal-side towpath, that Emma and Andrew Stuck walk along when they meet at Haggerston in Hackney, or so it should be, however, they have to share the path with inconsiderate cyclists. Emma argues that cyclists are part of the solution towards a more pedestrian-friendly London, as are Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, and the real battle is with the car drivers. 26’09” 12.3MB
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As a former specialist photographer in an academic library, Julius Smit has always been fascinated by the composition of words and pictures. Through a series of walks on the South Downs and in and around Eastbourne where he now lives, Julius has been publishing ‘zines and chapbooks of his poetry and photography, that he has printed and gives away to people he meets on his walks. Andrew Stuck meets him early on a February morning, to walk along the promenade in Eastbourne, and discuss the process Julius follows to create his ‘zines, and how he views his efforts as a way to resist the digital world and encourage us all to slow down. 29’51” 14 MB
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Anna Luyten is a Belgian academic working across a number of disciplines, including commercial journalism and non-fiction writing, theatre, change management and philosophy. Her interests include teaching by wandering, creating collective confusion amongst her students, and encouraging flexible gazing of the layers of daily life, all of which is engendered through walking. Influenced as much by American war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, as by German philosopher and cultural critic, Walter Benjamin, she teaches ‘wandering as a discipline’ for which she has defined four pillars of walking. With only a narrow window of time in our busy schedules, Andrew Stuck meets Anna outside Tate Modern, in London on a busy and crowded summer Saturday, having to record snatches of their conversation when they find quieter places. The interview opens with Andrew asking Anna to explain each of the four pillars. 18’02” 8.5MB
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Andrew Stuck is in the medieval heart of Vic, in Catalunya; its narrow streets are not very conducive to recording an interview as sounds reverberate off the stone facades.
He set out originally to interview Thomas Keis and Ivana Pinna, who together have set up an artist residency on the island of Sardinia. As you learn through the conversation, after the suggestion of Thomas, Andrew interviews Ivana alone.
As they weave through the bustling streets in search of ambient calm, their much interrupted conversation includes a discussion about “Artivism”, in which Ivana mobilised the community around her Sardinian childhood home in a walking protest against government plans to dump radioactive waste there. 22’39” 10.6MB
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Out at a restaurant in Gerona having dinner, late in the evening, Andrew Stuck discovers that his plan to interview walking artist Yannis Ziogas the following morning have gone awry as Yannis has to leave on the earliest flight. So to interview Yannis in person, they had to do it there and then. They walk near-deserted streets close to midnight, talking about Yannis’ unique bond with Prespa, on the disputed, remote northern border of Greece. 32’26” 15.2MB
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Maybe because of the pandemic, we have become more aware of other people’s health concerns, or is it just Andrew Stuck, getting a little older, and hearing friends speak of family members living with dementia? He is on a walk in Regent’s Park in London with Marion Child, a Head of Service in the Alzheimer’s Society operations team. Alzheimer’s Society have set up walking challenges, the most recent are a series of almost marathon length, set up in part to raise money, but also to provide support for families and friends of those living with dementia. 20’11” 9.7MB
Andrew Stuck is in Olot, Catalunya, in the company of Clara Gari, the founder of the Nau Côclea Contemporary Art centre and of The Grand Tour, an annual nomadic walking art residency that Clara has developed over the last eight years. Previously having received public funding to run a conventional art centre offering exhibitions, workshops and talks, a political change meant the funding was withdrawn, and Clara struggled to keep the art centre alive. Thinking out of the box, she reprised a personal walking journey she had made in 2003, in which she walked for three weeks on a 200 kilometre route that linked artists and friends, to create what she called The Grand Tour that now follows a spiral route through eastern Catalunya and the Pyrenees. 22’23″ 10.5MB
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On a hot summer’s day at a walking conference in Girona, Catalunya, Andrew Stuck is accompanying self-styled photo troubadour, Jez Hastings on a short stroll. Jez has been known to walk to similar conferences, including a walk through Italy, Albania and Macedonia to reach a gathering in Prespas – walking long distances is in his blood. They talk about why that is so, and how and why Jez has developed his practice of ‘a pace of purpose without purpose’, of making art through experiencing landscapes on durational walks, and in taking fewer photographs…27’31” 12.9MB
Andrew Stuck is in the company of Alex Middleton, one of the creators of Vespucci Adventures, that encourages people to put away their smart phones, to walk in the ‘great outdoors’. He has come to Greenwich to walk around Andrew’s local neighbourhood and talk about how he and his co-founder have worked tirelessly over the last five years to build a business around a shared passion for walking. It may be a passion, but as yet, it is not a profitable business. The COVID pandemic brought trials but let them also develop the business in other ways, and Alex tells us what their plans are for the next five years, as well as offering some candid advice to anyone considering turning their walking passion into a business. 26’44” 12.5MB
Charlie Lee Potter has had a lifelong passion for working with sound especially in creatively weaving soundscapes to evoke places. As a former BBC radio journalist and foreign correspondent, she knows how the sound of a place helps to tell complicated stories and has applied this to a fascinating series of podcasts recorded on walks called “Inside a Mountain”. However there is a lot more to Charlie than just working with sound, as Andrew Stuck discovers on the walk they take across Christchurch Meadows in Oxford. 25’50” 12.1MB
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Photographer Quintin Lake set himself a daunting challenge, to walk and photograph the coastline of Great Britain. It is turning into an 8-year project, as he is now editing hundreds of photographs he has taken on the coastal walks, around what he has aptly called ‘The Perimeter’. Andrew Stuck catches up with him on a bright and breezy day along the Cotswold Way, a favourite local walk of Quintin’s. Although Quintin has spent five years solitarily walking, which he describes as ‘oneliness’, he is great company, and he tells Andrew about why walking and photography are so integral to his life, and how there is a kind of creative magic in walking more and photographing less. 26’02” 12.2MB
Feature and portrait image: Tom Martin, all others: Quintin Lake
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