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Ways of Walking


The writer has a poor sense of orientation and loses her way when she walks in cities. When this happens in Antwerp, Belgium, GPS maps and a music streaming application on her smartphone trigger the experience that she unfolds in this essay. Her aim is to explore an aspect of the temporal dynamics of contemporary life and, based on the element of loss, to demonstrate how machine, digital temporality and human, existential temporality may interact. Thanks to Kenneth Goldsmith's notion of displacement, the work of writers and artists related to Antwerp, namely Hugo Claus, Connie Palmen and Jan Fabre, references to ethnology and performance studies, and the writer’s father who was gardening through bud grafting, the experience of losing one’s way in a city with a smartphone in the hand, is restaged in writing, while loss in space encounters memory through oblivion and initiates reflection on an existential condition of loss.

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