EXHIBITION OPENING // Thursday, Sept 28  7:00-9:00
(SAMC Gallery, Norma Marion Alloway Library)

Contemplative Geographies
Matthew Whitney

I am an artist that makes work about walking landscapes, examining the movement itself as a form of spatial poetics, as well as how social movements within a space are determined by it, but also how we can shape the ways in which it is used. My practice utilizes drawing and GPS tracking software to both document and generate aesthetic forms around pedestrian action. Thus I consider how the direct action of walking can be a means in which the landscape’s “text” is actively written, in the journey of the body as a line, and the social creation of the landscape as aesthetic composition.

It’s a form of reverse-embodiment, in which the real encounter becomes charted by the 2D. In other words, I am able to write text and draw images into the urban grid by the direct action of walking. My practice thus intersects between the 2D, the 3D, the real and the virtual, simultaneously. Movement is thought of as getting from point A to point B – be it in walking, riding the bus, gardening, making things, or even sitting still. The constant of durational time makes non-movement, or being static, an impossibility. I am, as most of us are, attempting to feel my way between all these realms in which we daily operate.

I am equal parts flâneur and part of the collective body of the wandersmänner, seeing and sensing my walked paths as singular lines of a woven urban text, walking even as writing, finding myself changed as I walk, recreated even in every step. If this recreation can occur in the minute space of one person’s walk through the totality of an urban landscape, then perhaps the world inherently carries the potential for recreation as well.

Matthew Whitney is a multi-disciplinary artist, educator and pedestrian. He lives and works in the Greenwood neighbourhood of Seattle, and enjoys going for walks with his family.