30 Dec 2018 | Reading and Walking

Gilles Deleuze, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque

I decided to read Deleuze’s book on Leibniz, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque, to answer a question that came out of my reading of Elizabeth Adams St. Pierre’s essay on data in qualitative social-science research: is artistic research, or walking-as-art, in the fold? What is the importance of Deleuze’s image of the fold, which […]

28 Dec 2018 | Reading and Walking

Walking to the MacKenzie

Christine pulled me away from my reading this afternoon. “We were supposed to go to the MacKenzie, to see the Punk Orientalism show,” she said. That’s true; we were. So we laced up our boots and went for a walk. It’s overcast and snowing a little, but we enjoyed the soft grey light and the […]

26 Dec 2018 | Reading and Walking

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nature” (1836)

In my Group Studio review, one other critique was that walking and taking photographs is a version of Emerson’s “transparent eye-ball.” I couldn’t answer that critique, because I hadn’t read Emerson’s essay “Nature,” where he briefly discusses this notion. Now that I’ve read that essay, though, I can respond. This is a long post, partly […]

30 Nov 2018 | Reading and Walking

Jeff Wall, “‘Marks of Indifference’: Aspects of Photography in, or as, Conceptual Art”

I wanted to re-read art historian and photographer Jeff Wall’s essay on the impact of photography on Conceptual Art (and vice-versa) before my end-of-semester review, mostly because during my presentation and influences talk in the Group Studio course, I was called out for suggesting that my photography is influenced by Conceptual photographic practices, and at […]

06 Sep 2018 | Reading and Walking

The Book of the Bivvy

Ronald Turnbull’s The Book of the Bivvy is an odd book. In part, it’s a collection of comic anecdotes about walking and climbing trips Turnbull has made in Northern Ireland, Wales, the Scottish Highlands, and the Lake District. But it’s also a guide that explains how to go about making such journeys, with detailed information about […]

25 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Frenchmen’s Trail Walk, Day Five

I was humbled by my blisters twice yesterday. First, I couldn’t walk more than a couple of miles. And then, when we arrived at our destination, Judy, who trained as a nurse, taped the blisters for me. That was especially humbling, because after four days on the road, my feet–to be blunt–stink. I’m still hopeful […]

24 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Frenchmen’s Trail Walk, Day Four

A good night’s sleep can do marvellous things. Last night, I was sure I’d be riding in the truck today. I could hardly put any weight on my blistered foot. This morning, the blisters are still there, but after I put on my shoes and socks, I found I was walking almost normally. So I’m […]

23 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Frenchmen’s Trail Walk, Day Three

I slept on a high-jump mat in a former grade seven classroom last night, and surprisingly I didn’t dream about being 12 years old. We’re living in luxury here: there’s a kitchen and tables and chairs, and running cold water, although you can’t drink it. Most of us had showers, but I couldn’t face a […]

22 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Frenchmen’s Trail Walk, Day Two

Last night, we did all the things solo walkers can’t (or don’t usually). There was cold beer. Dave brought his guitar, and we sang old folk songs. I didn’t know that Matthew could play, but when Dave went to cook his supper, Matthew took over as choir leader. I went to bed when it got […]

22 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Frenchmen’s Trail Walk, Day One

We camped at the golf course in Mortlach last night. It was cold. I broke the half-zipper on my ultra-light, high-tech sleeping bag, which didn’t help. I’m not sure if the manufacturer traded robustness for weight, of if the bag was designed for a slim-hipped youth rather than a man of my carriage. And I […]

06 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Wood Mountain Walk, Afterthoughts

I’m exhausted today, of course, and my legs don’t feel like cooperating when I ask them to climb stairs or walk across the room. That’s to be expected. I should’ve taken two days to finish the last 40 kilometres of my walk. But I didn’t. I decided to leave everything on the road and push […]

06 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Wood Mountain Walk, Day Nine

Last night, my hosts warned me hat there’s very little between Limerick and Wood Mountain , so I’m carrying extra water, which means my pack is heavier than ever. But my feet don’t hurt and I seem to have recovered my stride. After three hours of walking–for once, I didn’t sleep late, and I was […]

04 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Wood Mountain Walk, Day Eight

I woke up late this morning, feeling drained of energy despite my day off. I’ve been walking with leaden legs for two hours and I’m about halfway to Limerick. Highway 13 has a wide, flat paved shoulder and a gravel verge beside it that looks as if it’d be good for walking, but because it […]

03 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Wood Mountain Walk, Day Seven

All I’ve done in Assiniboia today is eat and sleep. And laundry. That’s what rest days are for. It’s hot again today and I’m glad I’m not out on the highway. Tomorrow will be a shorter day, just 20 kilometres to Limerick. Sunday is supposed to be cooler, so I might try to finish the […]