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Related: flâneur - Lettrism - Situationism - la dérive - modern architecture
DefinitionPsychogeography is "The study of specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organised or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals", according to the article Preliminary Problems in Constructing a Situation, in Situationniste Internationale No. 1 (1958).
The precise origins of psychogeography are unknown but today it is practised in the West (ie Europe and America), formally in groups or associations, sometimes consisting of just one member. Known groups, some of whom are still operating, include:
- Manchester Area Psychogeographic
- Nottingham Psychogeographical Unit
- Greenwich Psychogeographical Order
- London Psychogeographical Association
- evoL PsychogeogrAphix
- New York Psychogeographical Association
- The Washington Psychogeography Association
- Brooklyn Psychogeographical Association
- Virtual Psychogeographical Association
Disagreements have led to many variations in the practice which have included the following forms: Debordian; Literary; Generative or Algorithmic; and Quantum. Various factions claim to be or accuse each other of being: academic; occultist; avant-garde; proletarian; or revolutionary.
In May, 2003, psychogeographers gathered in New York for the first Psy-Geo-Conflux, an annual event dedicated to current artistic and social investigations in psychogeography. This was timed to coincide with a Cartographic Congress in Limehouse, London. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychogeography, Apr 2004
Psychogeography and la dérive [...]Disagreements have led to many variations in the practice which have included the following forms: Debordian; Literary; Generative or Algorithmic; and Quantum. Various factions claim to be or accuse each other of being: academic; occultist; avant-garde; proletarian; or revolutionary. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychogeography [Apr 2005]
In Guy Debord's words: "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."
The idea here is that exploring space in this way will open one up to its unseen 'psychogeographical contours', particularly in urban areas, which are all about psychogeography. This is in contrast to the usual movements of urban doyens, who move along the same paths (work - home, home - club) again and again without exploring their environments. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%E9rive [Apr 2005]
Psychogeography - the study of the emotional effects of particular locations - was a major concern of the Lettrist International (founded in 1952) and of the Situationist International in its early years. A key psychogeographical text, adopted by the LI as policy in 1953, was Ivan Chtcheglov's Formulary for a new urbanism. Chtcheglov evokes the mingled boredom and serendipity of a random exploration of Paris; he then contrasts this with the fabled ease of "the hacienda", an image of aristocratic leisure. "Now that's finished. You won't see the hacienda. It doesn't exist. The hacienda must be built." -- Phil Edwards, The Hacienda must be destroyed, 1996 http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/amroth/scritti/debord5.htm [accessed Mar 2004]
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