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Psychogeography. Guest talk at Leeds University


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Tim Waters hosted talk at Leeds University, School of Geography, 20 Jan 2010. Talk was to follow a reading of the Introduction of Merlin Coverley's book, Psychogeography.

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Psychogeography. Guest talk at Leeds University

  1. 1. Tim Waters [email_address] Psychogeography Presentation at Leeds University, School of Geography 20 Jan 2010
  2. 2. Psychogeography What's it all about? From Coverley / Debord “ the study of the specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organised or not On the emotions and behaviour of individuals.” Its how place effects the brain!
  3. 3. History Main theories Main practices Applied outside Applied on the Internet
  4. 4. Theory People Political Architecture Urban Planning Capitalism Culture Occult Senses Environment History Local Histo ry Experienced - it's an activity.
  5. 5. Debord / Situationism the Situationists found contemporary architecture both physically and ideologically restrictive, combining with outside cultural influence, effectively creating an undertow, and forcing oneself into a certain system of interaction with their environment. Gawd knows! Coverley says that the SI / Debord's view of Psychogeography is not valid anymore The Term is vague!
  6. 6. Tortoise
  7. 7. Debord
  8. 8. The Theory of the Derive One of the basic situationist practices is the dérive [literally: “drifting”], a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiances. Dérives involve playful-constructive behavior and awareness of psychogeographical effects, and are thus quite different from the classic notions of journey or stroll. In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there. Chance is a less important factor in this activity than one might think: from a dérive point of view cities have psychogeographical contours, with constant currents, fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones.
  9. 10. "participants to drift from their usual activities and to become more aware of their surroundings while simultaneously seeking out ways of changing them." David Pinder (1996)
  10. 11. Literary Efforts & rest of history we'll skip Walter Benjamin Defoe London and Paris Will Self Walk airports Dubai Alan Moore Bedford Capitalism & Politics Theory we'll skip as well.
  11. 12. Practices Modern Resurgence of interest
  12. 14. o remap the area of High Wycombe earmarked for town centre re-development. The remapping is to be undertaken in collaboration with community groups in High Wycombe by staging a psychogeograpical event, a walk, a ‘derive‘ within the boundary of the re-development area, the results of which will be used to animate the town centre with a temporary art installation. The aim of the LunchTime Dérive was to study how, by following a simple instruction, a group of workers could re-experience the town during their Lunch Break. The daily hunt for a prawn sandwich or Chicken Tikka Marsala Ready Meal will be replaced with a drift motivated by following a basic algorithm Left left right
  13. 15. Mapping Weird Stuff is a course offered as part of the OWjL summer camp at Ohio Wesleyan.
  14. 17. Biomapping Christian Nold
  15. 18. Unconscious & reflection
  16. 20. Urban exploration?
  17. 21. Parkour?
  18. 22. Make Playce – Leeds Parking Day
  19. 23. Leeds psychogeography group Regular meetings and guest talks & walks! Rules Dice – 1-100 and university campus map. Visit number on map that corresponds with number rolled on die Take a downloaded piece of Situationist text ('The Theory of the Dérive' by Guy Debord). Using a piece of tracing paper, draw a dot over the first word on each line that begins with a 'p' (for 'psychogeography'). Make a separate note of all these words. Lay the tracing paper over a map of the University of Leeds campus. Draw a line, moving from right to left which connects those dots that lay on top of the map. Ignore the dots that are outside of the map. The end result is a zigzag line on the tracing paper that is superimposed over the map. The line becomes the route (as much as possible that it can be followed), the dots become the stopping places. Each point of stopping would then have the relevant word attached to it. Also, the photographs attached to the map, would be a picture looking towards the next point that would be visited.
  20. 24. Leeds Derives
  21. 25. Leeds Derives
  22. 26. Beating the bounds Bring booze!
  23. 27. On the Internets!
  24. 28. Platial Story telling
  25. 29. Crap towns, chav towns, slagging off towns, place forums, etc
  26. 30. We feel fine We Feel Fine LiveJournal, MSN Spaces, MySpace, Blogger, Flickr, Technorati, Feedster, Ice Rocket,
  27. 32. Smell map The scents listed range from "a toasty odour of cow dung" to "used socks in the summer" Soundmaps too!
  28. 34. Thats it. It might be worth getting outside. Theory People Political Architecture Urban Planning Capitalism Culture Occult Senses Environment History Local History Situationism Derive Modern Art Landscape Urban change Citizen geography Cheap tools Outdoor space reclamation Leeds derives Internet Stories, Real time feelings about place Organising and documenting Volunteered psychogeographical informaion Tim Waters [email_address]