15 Oct 2019 | Reading and Walking

103. Catherine Wood, Performance in Contemporary Art

Because I wasn’t satisfied with Roselee Goldberg’s survey of contemporary performance in her book Performance Now: Live Art for the 21st Century, I decided to tackle another survey of contemporary performance, Catherine Wood’s Performance in Contemporary Art. Wood’s book takes on performance after the 1950s, as well as contemporary work, so it examines the recent […]

25 Sep 2019 | Reading and Walking

100. David Evans, ed., The Art of Walking: A Field Guide

The last book I summarized in this space was RoseLee Goldberg’s Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present. When I finished that book, I found myself wondering whether the best way to think about walking as an art practice is to think of it as a performance. Some walking artists—Richard Long, for example—don’t consider their […]

11 Sep 2019 | Reading and Walking

97. Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

I was told that I might find something useful for my work in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth. I’m not sure I did, to be honest. It’s an important book, of course: a classic work about colonialism and decolonization. It was written (or rather dictated) under harrowing circumstances; Fanon was seriously ill with […]

09 Sep 2019 | Reading and Walking

95. Eve Tuck and C. Ree, “A Glossary of Haunting”

In my last blog entry, I wondered whether some of the strange justifications Eva Mackey describes settler descendants making about their occupation of Indigenous land—the claim, for instance, that there were no Indigenous people living on the land when settlers  first arrived—might come from “a deeply buried recognition that the claims Settlers make about Crown […]

24 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

Carlton Trail Walk, Day Eight

The morning was muggy, with rain threatening to make the day a challenge. When we started walking, though, the sun came out, and the rain didn’t materialize. It was a perfect day for walking. Everyone was up early this morning, which was a good thing, because there was lots to do. We had to launder […]

23 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

Carlton Trail Walk, Day Seven

Just as we finished walking yesterday, it started to rain. We were all glad to be staying in the rectory at St. Laurent-Grandin, out of the wet. The rain stopped while we were getting a tour of the site of a fur-trading post nearby. Two posts, actually: the Northwest Company and the Hudson Bay Company […]

22 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

Carlton Trail Walk, Day Six

Last night was windy and I thought I heard rain hitting the bivvy. In the morning there was only the wind. The day promised to be hot but that wind, which made breaking camp a challenge, kept us cool. Last night I also went to see Paul Lapointe’s studio north of Batoche. I liked his […]

22 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

Carlton Trail Walk, Day Five

Tuesday night we visited the Tourand’s Coulee/Fish Creek battle site where, during the 1885 Resistance, 120 or so Métis fighters made a much larger force of British regulars and Canadian militia to retreat, delaying their assault on Batoche for more than two weeks. The Métis Elder, Pat Adams, who showed us the area, explained the […]

20 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

Carlton Trail Walk, Day Four

We got off to a late start this morning; a set of car keys went missing. (They reappeared.) It had been a cold, damp night, and I was happy to get a hot shower. There was a kitchen, too, so no fiddling with camp stoves at breakfast. Such luxury! Last night we were well treated, […]

19 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

Carlton Trail Walk, Day Three

Rain on the bivvy sack woke me this morning. It sounded worse than it was: a mere sprinkle, hardly enough to make a difference in this dry season. But it was a useful dry run for the possibility of a serious rain while I’m sleeping out. I mean, I can hardly get out of the […]

18 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

Carlton Trail Walk, Day Two

This morning, Hugh handed out buttons bearing the Cree word Louise Halfe, one of the 14 people walking to Fort Carlton, suggested as the theme for our walk: asohtêwak, “together the hearts walk.” It’s a lovely statement about the possibility of deep connection that can be created when we walk together, literally or metaphorically. Cree […]

17 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

Carlton Trail Walk, Day One

The day started off cold and windy, and the people who came out to see us off at Original Humboldt (the site of a nineteenth-century telegraph station that became a small settlement) felt sorry for us. “Oh, it’s too cold to walk,” one woman said. “They’ll freeze.” I was glad I had packed a winter […]