The SLOWWALK - a series of szabadonbalaton events in the framework of the BALATORIUM programme of the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture (VEB2023 ECOC), defined as a slow walk through the landscape, aims to provide an opportunity for direct, shared and experiential encounter with the landscape and its ecological aspects and to provide, through artistic means, an alternative approach to the way we live and make decisions about the environmental, economic and social aspects of the Lake Balaton region.
The slow landscape tour will draw attention to key sites of the ecological networks of the Lake Balaton Uplands, through events, discussions, workshops, small-scale art installations, interventions and performances.
Starting in June 2022, the SLOWWALK series of events will sharpen our awareness and perception, encouraging us to look at the ecosystems of Lake Balaton with a new kind of attention - to explore not only how humans shape the landscape, but also how the landscape can affect humans. Through the collaboration between visual artists, textile designers, dancers and dance teachers, ecologist-ethnobiologists, as well as geological and cave researchers, these curious landscape explorations will create a link between the micro and macro levels, with the active participation of the audience: among other things, the walks will explore the characteristics and importance of wooded pastures, the links between livestock farming and seed distribution, and the potential for preserving biodiversity around Lake Balaton. On 11th of June, let's change gears together – let’s slow down to the pace of rocks and of the landscape and literally taste the most important ecological processes and phenomena of the Balaton region with the refreshments of szabadonbalaton.
SLOWWALK is a silent statement that makes us rethink our attitudes and practices towards Lake Balaton.
SLOWERALL PASTURE IMPRINTING
Wooded pastures are transitional habitat types, a combination of forests and grasslands, resulting from deliberate management of pastures and grasslands; semi-natural areas with high agricultural and ecological values, home to animal and plant species that prefer either more closed woodlands or more open grasslands. Fine-scale, deliberate management, combined with the influence of grazing animals, created these woodlands as transitional habitat complexes, which are essentially defined by both visible and invisible boundaries.
But what are these boundaries, and how can natural and cultural diversity rooted in an ever-changing transience be maintained within them? This is one of the questions we will be exploring during a guided walk by szabadonbalaton and ethnobiologist Dr. Anna Varga, who will point out the smallest details of the wooded pasture restored as part of a nature conservation management project on the outskirts of Kisdörgicse.
Grazing animals visibly shape the vegetation with their movements, trampling and grazing, but they also connect areas almost imperceptibly by seeds, leaves and stalks clinging to their bodies or transporting plant propagules several kilometres away through their excrements. SLOWERALL is the seed and plant collection suit of szabadonbalaton and textile designers Mária Schuller and Borbála Vértesi, which will carry the landscape print of the area they walk through together, as the grazing animals do.
szabadonbalaton (Diána Berecz, Dániel Bozzai, Éva Bubla, András Zlinszky, Ágnes Vári, Bence Fülöp)
dr. Anna Varga
szabadonbalaton x Mária Schuller - Borbála Vértesi
Geodiverse rock tour
How many types of rocks and fossils shape the landscape? Climbing school rock walls, church ruins, tombstones. Inside us, bones, kidney stones. In the Kű-valley forest, micro and macro, space and time, above and below, creator and destroyer come together. Lime is present in stone walls, snail shells, in bones and the walls of our veins.
We offer a comfortable, slow walk, where we pay special attention to the landscape we walk through, including the bodily sensations it evokes. Can we discover something we have never seen before? What a rock smells like, how time draws on stone, how ivy both decorates and suffocates, how an ant colony metropolis organises itself, and where the forest lies within us. Since the beginning of 2019, the SVUNG research team has been looking for new ways of experiencing the body, and recently its events have been increasingly built around the relationship between nature and humans. A SVUNG programme is a fusion of a participatory lecture, a parkour workshop and a geotour - a little bit of each and none of the above in particular.
Luca Borsos, Barnabás Korbély, Napsugár Trömböczky and Kinga Szemessy
ZSÓFIA SZONJA ILLÉS:
SENSORY WALKS FROM A WATER PERSPECTIVE
When we concentrate on our sensory experiences, such as walking barefoot in the sand or listening to the waves crashing on the waterfront, we often find ourselves in the deep recesses of our memory. The deep experience of a smell or movement inspires our imagination and, through it, generates visions for that place.
Through the different sensory aspects of the two walks (sound-walk and touch-walk), participants reinterpret the environment in different ways - based on a methodology born based on our bodies and our bodily interactions. What smells, sounds, tastes, sensations influence our image of a place, our connection to it? What pleasant or unpleasant, strange or familiar sensations do we encounter? During the two sensory walks, we focus on our different senses to map the connectivity of the world around us. Through guided exercises, we explore the locations of the walks, and the sum of our shared experiences create our sensory map.
GERGELY SCHELL & J.A. TILLMANN.:
JOURNEY TO THE NEARBY COSMOS - SHORT WALKS TO INFINITY
"The world is closer than you think", even according to the advertisements, which even say that "Nature is a source of inspiration...".
The truth of these statements is indisputable, although the ulterior motive of the advertisements is always to create a desire to acquire a certain "product". The world is not a product, of course, but in the hustle and bustle of buildings, amidst constant stimuli and interactions, it is as difficult to reflect on the world as it is to encounter nature.
During our walks, we will try to take in a small part or even all of nature, to expose our senses to it, to immerse ourselves in its reflection, rather than the usual perception and fleeting sensations of the familiar environment. This is to be achieved through paths to various selected points in the landscape and via the recommendations received there, including walking meditation, perspective shifting, shared perception exercises, sky scanning and mental mapping.
CSILLA HÓDI & BOGLÁRKA LUTZ & DÉNES TÜREI:
FLOWERS OF ABUNDANCE QUESTIONS
How is it that while most of human life on Earth has long been trapped in the inequality of work and free service 'by birth', on this same planet - underground - there is a network of abundance stretching for miles, often blooming in exuberant beauty?
Fungi are ubiquitous organisms that complement and interconnect the roles of other groups of living organisms, embodying the circular unity of nature. They reintegrate inanimate matter into the ecosystems of their habitats through their decomposing action. Their subterranean networks are organic, complex webs of threads that extend across space and time, providing extensive root systems that have provided nutrients and information to their plant companions for 450 million years. This underground network circulates, among other things, the sugars of photosynthetic plants. The abundance of nutrients available here has even allowed the emergence of plants that do perform carbon binding - whose existence is usually described by humans as 'parasitic'.
During the playful walk, we will be drawn underground by the local heleborines, into the web of soil-dwelling fungi that support them, where we will join in the current human/scientific research on abundance, mutualism and beauty.
Dávid Somló's site-specific sound installation evokes a sense of vaguely imagined memories among the boats of a secluded fishing harbour. The laughter of people from afar and the hum of reeds mixed with the creaking of the pier planks - miniature sound compositions hidden in space, offering participants the possibility to contemplate a wild romantic world on its way to extinction.
"Hauntology evokes a half-percolated memory of non-existent things akin to sonic fictions or made-up thoughts - approximating the imprecise nature of memory itself."
– Sean Albiez on hauntology
"We sat on the pier and watched the light dance across the water. (...) Summer in Balaton, summer in Balaton."
– KFT music band