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DARREN O’Brien

Visual Arts, Nottingham Trent University

Thesis title:

Who’s walking who? Re-connecting with our animal self in the unfolding landscape, through the praxis of walking with companion species

Who’s walking who? Re-connecting with our animal self in the unfolding landscape, through the praxis of walking with companion species

This research focuses on walking, with a canine companion, as an extension of aesthetic walking practice, and is informed by post-humanist philosophy and its application within the fine arts, through embodied auto-ethnographic walking methodologies.

Operating at the intersection of fine art practice, human geography, critical animal studies and ecology, my research seeks to reframe the humble act of the ‘walkies’ as a co-authored act of ‘making’ or ‘performing’ together. The ‘walkies as method’ offers a space where the human/canine has equal agency and where sensory limits complement each other in the generation of the walk, as an artistic event, through an active choreography, based on intuition, instinct and improvisation.

Building on previous experiments in Deep Canine Topography (O’Brien 2018), this practice-based research, seeks to integrate and develop the ‘walkies as method’ as a unique artistic process which helps us to rethink our entanglement with the more than human world, and the way in which we attend to the living landscape. By positioning the canine as co-author of the walk, I will explore new ways of moving through space, as a shared act, which attends to the unfolding landscape as a human/canine hybrid unit, building on the traditions of walking practices, that disrupt and unsettle geographies, by developing a human/canine counter-cartography.


Research Area

  • Visual Arts

Conferences

Forth World Congress of Psychogeography:

04-06/09/2020

https://www.4wcop.org/

Workshop on collective Deep Canine Topography and Q and A.

Life With and Without Animals:

07/11/2020

University of Derby.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=focS5Kl004c&feature=youtu.be

Paper - Further Adventures in Deep Canine Topography, and Q and A 


Other Research Interests

Fine Art Practice

Walking Art

Human Geography

Critical Animal Studdies

Animal Rights

Posthuman Philosophy