Dr Claudia Brazzale and I are editing a special issue of Streetnotes, a
peer-reviewed biannual journal for the interdisciplinary study of the city,
its lifeways and social relations, with a special concern for the cultural
and aesthetic forms that arise through its traffic
We are looking for submissions focused on Walking in the Digital City,
including creative responses, artist’s pages, walking scores,
practice-based research, as well as traditional scholarly articles, that
address the relationship between walking and digital tools. You can find
the full CFP below.
The submission deadline is 16 January 2020. Submissions need to be made
through the online portal, but we are happy to look at any articles in
advance, or address any questions you might have.
*CFP Streetnotes 27: Walking in the Digital City*
Guest editors: Claudia Brazzale and Blake Morris
This special issue will examine the interface between technology and our
experience of urban space and, in particular, of walking in the city. We
invite contributions of academic articles, interviews, visual essays,
artistic provocations, walking scores or artists’ pages that address the
topics outlined below.
In ‘Walking in the Capitalist City’, Anja Hälg Bieri (2017) identifies a
trend to ‘walkable urbanism’, promoted by urban planners and designers to
create less car-centric cities. While the desire to create walkable spaces
is laudable, Bieri’s research identifies the danger of its recuperation, ‘a
sales pitch for real-estate premiums’ and the ‘whole spectrum of gear,
clothes and even cars’ that go with a ‘walkable lifestyle’ (34). One of the
essential pieces of ‘gear’ that accompanies contemporary urban walking
practices is the smart-phone, and the multitude of applications developed
for it, which mediate and inform our experiences of the city. In this
special issue of Streetnotes, we would like to examine how the ubiquity of
digital tools, exemplified by the phones we carry with us, can contribute
to new considerations of walking that challenges its recuperation and
co-optation by the investment class.
In 2005, in her book For Space, Doreen Massey wonders if technologically
facilitated communication potentially reduces “one of the truly productive
characteristics of material spatiality”: the “happenstance juxtaposition of
previously unrelated trajectories, that business of walking round a corner
and bumping into alterity” (94). For Massey, what is at stake is our
engagement with the diversity of the streets and more importantly, the
requirements of ‘social negotiation’ that accidental and unexpected social
encounters foster. Revisiting Massey’s observation fifteen years later, we
invite papers that consider how her concerns have manifested, and how
digital tools might create ‘happenstance moments’ in urban spaces rather
than serve as tools of disengagement and alienation.
The potential for digital tools and mobile applications to be used to
increase connectivity through globally connected local practices, is
exemplified by recent rise in artistic practices that combine walking and
digital technology. A new generation of artists working in and across
disciplines – dance/choreography, performance, visual art, music, and what
Phil Smith (2015) refers to as "Walking’s New Movement" – are using digital
tools, such as blogs, listservs, mobile applications, and augmented
reality, to encourage different ways of walking through the city. Works
such as Jennie Savage’s Fracture Mob (2012), which asked participants to
engage in a simultaneous worldwide drift; Jen Southern and Chris Speed’s
Comob (2009), a collaborative mapping application; or Deveron Projects’
Slow Marathon, which has connected the rural space of Huntly, Scotland to
Gaza in Palestine and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, embrace digital tools to
create aesthetic walking exchanges. We are interested in walking as both
subject and method, and encourage submissions that take a practice-based
approach. Importantly, we look for contributions that offer models for
practice, in addition to any critique of, the intersection of digital
technology and urban walking practices. Papers may cover a wide array of
approaches and creative inquiries to this topic.
Proposals may address, but are not limited to, the following themes and
– How are inhabitants of urban spaces utilising technology to encourage
new ways of walking through and interacting with the landscape?
– How are digital tools being used by people whose access needs are not
met by the urban design of their area?
– How might digital interfaces connect walking practices in urban spaces
to suburban, town, village or rural walks?
– How might digital media and technologies change our embodied sense of
walking in the city?
– To what extent does the digital realm enable and shape more embodied,
localised, everyday walking practices? And how do these practices extend
and challenge understandings of embodiment and embodied experiences?
– How have locative media and mobile applications changed walking
experiences for urban dwellers (eg. the use of digital tech to facilitate
tourist walking experiences; walking and digital storytelling; augmented
reality and mobile phone applications), and what potential models might we
introduce in the future?
*Deadline*: January 16, 2020
Questions and inquiries can be directed to the issue Editors: Claudia
Brazzale, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Blake Morris,
All submissions must be made through our online submission system:
Bieri, Anja Hälg (2017), ‘Walking in the capitalist city’, inThe Routledge
International Handbook of Walking. London: Routledge, pp. 27-36.
Massey, Doreen (2005) For Space. London: Sage Publications.
Smith, Phil (2015) Walking’s New Movement. Axminster: Triarchy.
Blake Morris, Ph.D
Associate Editor Studies in Theatre and Performance
University of Roehampton | London | SW15
Office hours Thursday 13:00-14:00 (during term) and by appointment