Walking as Artistic Practice

By Ellen Mueller

Subjects: Art, General Interest, Sports And Society
Hardcover : 9781438494814, 264 pages, October 2023
Paperback : 9781438494807, 264 pages, April 2024

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

1. History of Walking as Artistic Practice

2. Analyzing Walking Works

3. Observational Walking

4. Leading Versus Following

5. Who Gets to Walk and Where?

6. Rituals

7. Place

8. Activism

9. Connections to Drawing

10. Embodiment


Accessible to a wide range of readers, from artists to commuters to nature lovers and beyond, who wish to expand their understanding of walking.


Walking as Artistic Practice lays out foundational information about the history of walking and its development as an artistic practice, making it accessible to readers of all backgrounds. It also provides guidance on how to analyze and discuss walking artworks, with vocabulary support, over three hundred examples, and over seventy-five exercises. The chapters offer a variety of topical approaches, allowing readers and instructors to craft an experience most suited to their interests and needs. Themes include observational and sensory experience, leading versus following, who walks where (identity and positionality), rituals, place, activism, connections to drawing, and embodiment. Appendices include information on documentation, sample syllabi, readings and resources, brainstorming tips, community engagement guidance, and tips for travel-based study. Instructors will appreciate this text because it has so many resources to direct students to when they have questions about analysis, history, community engagement, or documentation approaches. It's the type of book that students will hang onto long after the course is done because it is so practical and useful.

Ellen Mueller is Director of Programs at Arts Midwest. She is the author of Elements and Principles of 4D Art and Design and Remixing and Drawing: Sources, Influences, Styles.


"As a long distance thru-hiker and multidisciplinary visual artist invested in social engagement, I am very excited about what this book will bring to those interested in bringing walking as artistic practice and social engagement into their studio practice and classrooms. … This book will become even more relevant as we continue to navigate the pandemic looking for solace in connecting with ourselves and others, reimagining purpose for our lives, the 'great resignation,' navigating a global mental health crisis, relearning practical skills and traditions." — Karen Gergely, Associate Professor of Art, Graceland University

"This book comes at a prescient time in the field as more artists, arts organizations, nonprofits, and community groups move toward new ways to engage audiences, participants, members, and neighbors. This book is highly useable and approachable." — Kevin McKelvey, Director of Master of Arts in Social Practice Art, University of Indianapolis