The Walking Seminar: Amsterdam Artis Zoo
The Walking Seminar; Amsterdam Artis Zoo is a publication based on the results of the Winter school 2018 of the Reinwardt Academie. The publication is an appendix to The Walkin Seminar Embodied research in emergent Anthropocene landscapes by Nick Shepherd, Christian Ernsten and Dirk-Jan Visser. It is the result of Shepherd’s time as an Artist in Residence at the Reinwardt Academy in 2017 and 2018.
In 2017 Professor Nick Shepherd started the project The Walking Residency at the Reinwardt Academy, enabling students and lecturers to connect places, identities, stories, climate, nature, people and animals with each other in new ways. Together with staff and students, he explored artistic research, using walking as a methodology to engage landscapes and histories, and rethinking time, materiality and memory.
Winter school at the zoo
The Walking Seminar includes an appendix based on three walking seminars done by students in the academy’s Master of Museology programme. In 2018, a winter school took place in collaboration with Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo. The issue at stake concerned the idea of a zoo in the Anthropocene. How do we understand zoos in an era in which human impact on the earth and its eco-systems is the main force to be reckoned with? How do zoos respond to the challenges of biodiversity and climate change? What should a zoo of and for the Anthropocene look like? At the heart of a ‘zoo walk’ students worked through these ideas, imagining the zoo’s alternative futures.
Berlin and Groningen
In 2017, students did walking seminars in Berlin and in the province of Groningen. In Berlin, they researched and designed heritage walks, exploring forms of embodied research and emotioning as methodologies for understanding present-day heritage production. In response to walking the city, they produced a creative work, reflecting in particular on the question: How can heritage be understood as affect in the context of the recent transformation of the city of Berlin?
In Groningen, as part of their introductory week, students captured their experiences, thoughts, ideas, traces, emotions, and memories as a first methodological exercise. Based on their notes, images and sketches, they were asked to produce a personal/autobiographic/subjective research document.
Download The Walking Seminar: Amsterdam Artis Zoo (pdf)