Essex Lectures: Ephemeral Urban Walkways and the Enchantment of Everyday Life (Cruz-Diez, Christo and Jeanne-Claude)

A lecture by Dr Michael Tymkiw as part of The Essex Lectures in Art History 2021

  • Fri 11 Jun 21

    15:00 - 17:00

  • Online


  • Event speaker

    Dr Michael Tymkiw, Senior Lecturer, University of Essex

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    The Essex Lectures in Art History 2021

  • Event organiser

    Philosophy and Art History, School of

  • Contact details

    Hannah Whiting, School Manager

The School of Philosophy and Art History hold 'The Essex Lectures in Art History' each year. The June 2021 lectures are titled 'Walking on Art, 1950s–Now'

This lecture, by Dr Michael Tymkiw, is called 'Ephemeral Urban Walkways and the Enchantment of Everyday Life (Cruz-Diez, Christo and Jeanne-Claude)', part of the Essex Lecture Series 'Walking on Art, 1950s–Now'. 

This lecture will be for one hour, followed by a 45-minute Q&A session.


From the 1950s onward, a dizzying array of artists in the Americas, Asia, and Europe produced artworks that spectators could walk upon. A series of spring-loaded planks to trip you up. Cement blocks that break under the weight of footsteps. The floor of an installation covered by leaves, sand, straw, and stone dust. Or seemingly humdrum walkways covered in fabric—but configured in particular ways to make you perceive your immediate environment anew. In this series of talks, we consider the rise and proliferation of “walkable” art from the 1950s onward. As these talks will suggest, the deceptively simple gesture of walking on art has provided a powerful means to reorient a spectator’s relationship to complex forces shaping the world in which we live, from war and political extremism to queer sexuality and petrocapitalism. 


To find out more about Dr Michael Tymkiw and his work, please visit his staff profile.

To Register 

If you would like to join this lecture, please email spahpg@essex.ac.uk for the Zoom link.



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