Meanders as mobile practices: Street Flowers – Urban Survivors of the Privileged Land
In this chapter, I explore the way in which we relate to our environment and its often contested histories through the simple action of taking a meander through an ‘edgeland’ urban site (Farley and Symmons 2011) – a site local to me and the place where I work (Sunderland in the north-east of England). It is my contention that the action of moving slowly (or meandering) through our surroundings affects the experience of that place in ways that are not immediately apparent. Meandering allows the walker to stop whenever and wherever they find something interesting to ‘explore’; and it allows them time to respond to the weather patterns and soundscapes of an environment. This creates an embodied experience which, when meandering in a group, seems to encourage the body and mind to co-respond by also wandering across a range of different areas of thought (Ingold 2010). In my artistic walking projects (for instance In Temperley’s Tread (2013), Walking Through the Sands of Time (2014) or Borderlands (2015)), these have included discussions around natural history, social history, politics, and philosophy explored together in non-hierarchical and unstructured ways, ways which create new patterns of interdisciplinary and interconnected thinking.