During the Haussmann renovation of the city, Paris has been perfectly designed for the art of walking around aimlessly also known as flânerie. The literary and theoretical figure of the Flâneur, shaped by modernity, still inspires, resonates and echoes in contemporary artistic practices. Paris needs to be explored by foot, without a particular goal but to observe and discover what is around the corner. 

While moving to Paris offered Karin the opportunity to discovering the city without a plan, but to walk around. And use this as a gateway to the continuation of her artistic practice. The reality of the distructive nature of air pollution on her health kicked in like a force of nature only 2 weeks after moving to the city.

So how to navigate a city that makes you ill beyond belief. What to do when walking around aimlessly becomes a health hazard. Pollution Walks is a personal research and attempt to finding strategies to live with air pollution. Instead of aimlessly walking around, these strategies became the dominant narrative when navigating the city, trying to reduce exposure to pollution as much as possible.

 

Karin created a series of maps. She attempted to plan the most ideal walks through the city in terms of avoiding pollution. The walk would go around each arrondissement and connect the route with all surrounding arrondissements based on her research on minimizing exposure to pollution. Avoiding as much as possible the boulevards and busy streets and focussing on the quiet streets and green spaces. The green lines would be relatively safe and quiet areas, the red lines show the most polluted boulevards and the orange lines indicated the larger radius around these arteries of pollution. As the orange cirkels on the map visualize, there where in fact many pollution infarcts presenting itself while planning the most ideal Pollution Walks around the arrondissements. 

Pollution walks, maps, public space, Paris, (FR)

© 2020 by Karin Bartels

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