Walking and staying in constructed imagination: three liminal experiences in history of walking in the landscape
Copyright (c) 2022 Albert Chen
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Walking treads not only on the palpable site but also through the stroller’s imaginary territory. This dual nature of walking is frequently illustrated in historical literature and pictures. These two forms of walking create a liminal and absorptive movement between the palpable and imaginary landscapes through the body-mind as a living medium. The essay examines this subject in three folds: first, discerning three modes of liminal experiences in a range of selected historical materials: namely, approaching, lingering, and wandering in reverie, following an increasing extent in the scale of absorption; second, presenting the three effects of absorption and their agencies and media; third, assessing how these effects were received by the historical walkers. Overall, this cross-cultural reading shows that walking in imagination is not a theoretical idea but an empirical form of absorptive experience that involves both external and internal media. The essay further implies that, with adequate studies on this subject, we could rethink the rapport between materials and their meanings and associations in Landscape Architecture and envision a humanistic landscape of constructed imagination that not only appeals to the senses but also touches our soul and mind.