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Connected Culture
Dominic Campbell

A Harvest of Wandering

Posted by Dominic Campbell on 02 September 2014

For the last few months I’ve been walking around Corsham and surrounding towns. With purpose!. The fruit of this summer’s walking and talking will be exhibited as “Pass It On: Harvest of Wandering” in Springfield Campus, Corsham, Wiltshire starting September 16th.

You may recall from a recent blog Pass It On is a commission arising from partnership between Wiltshire Council and the RSA paralleling the Campus and other Arts and Social Change initiatives. It set out with people living here to creatively explore walking, mapping and how values are transmitted along with the use of digital technology in a rural environment.

Walking is a great metaphor for collaboration. We walk beside people not in opposition, we adapt to each other’s pace, and conversation changes with the landscape. If you’d like to experience this then join us.

But walking is only half our story. We walk through a changing landscape. We comment on it and on it affects us. Sometimes we seek to shape or change it. It’s been fascinating to map, record and digitize. To examine walking as choreography and performance, as ritual and pedagogy.

It’s led to sketches, recordings and many meetings with diverse groups as I’ve sought to find what might lead out from a walk. The physical exhibition holds some of this archive, but also acts as provocation and stimulation. Stop thinking of art as a thing, try thinking of it as something that starts an experience in you. And then? Through the art we make what is it we are passing on?

And when in conversation we've reached this point talk often flounders against the challenge of available time or skills or resources. How to make things happen in the face of these challenges? So this too  became part of Pass It On. Events like the Optimistic Supper offer creative explorations of micro-finance and suggest how collaboration might help local initiatives grow as new opportunity arises. These mini events set out to offer experiential learning around the benefits of co-design, collaboration and development within an educative framework working with generosity, trial, error and reflection rather than under blueprints, competitive process and evaluation.

Near the end of the project I fin myself wondering when art in the UK started to be a panacea for all ills. What is it that participatory art doesn't do? For instance how good is it really at talking with powerful opposition?. So in the continued spirit of collaboration I’m asking others and you.

Sign up for walks, talks and workshops or come see, hear, speak and be inspired. www.passitonwiltshire.com

Or engage online.

Dominic Campbell


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