Walking Through Everyday Life: Tensions and Disruptions within the Ordinary

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Bringing together a genealogy of authors, concepts, and aesthetic case studies, this article aims to contribute to the discussion on ordinary aesthetics by focusing on the tensions that are intrinsic to walking as a fundamental embodied action in everyday urban life. These tensions concern the movement of walking itself and its relation to one’s surroundings, but it also concerns a certain complementarity between home (familiarity) and wandering. Experiencing space and thresholds that disrupt one’s relationship with home and the everyday can be understood as part of a modern “anti-home” tendency that lies at the core of several artistic and aesthetic practices. On the other hand, the study of walking and its relationship with the ordinary has also been enhanced and complexified by the mediation of images and technologies of reproduction. Approaching the paradoxes and ambiguities of everydayness from the perspective of walking allows us to better understand the ordinary as an in-between concept composed of evidence and mystery, familiarity and strangeness. Walking itself, as an ordinary element of life, is an unstable stabilisation, an unconsciousness that may become awareness, an immersive action that knows interruptions, a way of repeating paths that can also lead to detours and discoveries.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20220247
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalOpen Philosophy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2023


  • Walking
  • Everyday Life
  • Everyday Aesthetics
  • Ordinary
  • Philosophy
  • Aesthetics
  • Stanley Cavell
  • Walter Benjamin
  • Siegfried Kracauer
  • Disruption
  • Ambiguity
  • Home


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