In 1955, Guy Debord described psychogeography as “the study of the specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.” Debord’s psychogeographical map The Naked City (1957) challenged traditional ideas of mapping relating to scale, location, and fixity, and drew on the work of urban social geographer Paul-Henri Chombart de Lauwe’s concept of the city as a conglomeration of distinct quarters, each with its own special function, class divisions, and “physiognomy,” which linked the idea of the urban plan to the body. An important strategy of the pyschogeographical was the dèrive, “a technique of transient passage through varied ambiences”.†
The ‘psychogeographical’ has had a pervasive if somewhat amorphous role in contemporary art and culture. As a creative, social and political tactic, wandering through psychogeographic spaces is pertinent to a diverse range of practices including the use of GPS systems, Internet art, photography as well as sound and performance art.
This issue of Drain has gathered a series of essays, artworks and creative writings to reflect upon the legacies of psychogeography and consider its current manifestations.
Psychogeography - October, 2008 - Vol. 5, No.2
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