Purpose of this Blog/Website

This blog has been provided to enable people to contribute with their own experiences of walking through towns and cities in the style of a dérive. Please see just below to find out what this means. If you wish to be able to contribute to this blog (not just comment) then please email your request to derivewithme@yahoo.co.uk

What is Dérive

From Wikipedia, “In philosophy, a Dérive is a French concept meaning an aimless walk, probably through city streets, that follows the whim of the moment.”

The idea is that we normally spend all of our time going from ‘A to B’ and forget to notice our surroundings and details that would otherwise interest, amuse and stimulate us.

Again from Wikipedia, “French philosopher and situationist Guy Debord used this idea to try and convince [his] readers to revisit the way they looked at urban spaces. Rather than being prisoners to their daily route and routine, living in a complex city but treading the same path every day, he urged people to follow their emotions and to look at urban situations in a radical new way.”

To make/create/follow your own dérive is simple. You just need to open your eyes, ears and nose, then walk. When you come to a junction or you need to make a decision about your direction, don’t make this decision on practical terms but rather just do what ever attracts you about a certain route. For example, you may see a person or animal, you may hear a noise or you may have some preconceptions about a route and you want to check them out.

You can record your experience and the different way you looked at your surroundings here.

The process can take 5 minutes, it can take all day. There are no rules, you can stop in a pub if you want, you can sit in the park, it is up to you.

Recipe For Contribution

If you would like to contribute to this log, you can make a record of where you have been on a map (you can use Google maps), make some notes of what you have seen and where, and you can take some photographs. To allow you to submit, you will need to gain permission by emailing derivewithme@yahoo.co.uk

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Algorithmic walking

Another approach and contrary to the dérive method is algorithmic walking. " — a method of exploring the city using a formula that combines order and chance — is one of psygeo’s many inventive ideas. Developed by a group of Dutch artists called Social Fiction, it’s a set of simple directions (“second right, second right, first left, repeat”) to lead you beyond your habitual route."

“Simply walking toward what attracts you might not actually take you anywhere you haven’t already been,” says Jeffrey Barke, Webmaster for Glowlab, a psygeo Web site Ray created. “Unless you’re able to relax and let go and move with your desire, you might still end up getting ‘channelized.’ Whereas the algorithmic method is guaranteed to take you on a path you’ve never walked before.”

This is certainly worth trying but I think it important to relax as Jeffrey Barke suggests and go with the dérive flow.

Here is an example of the experience of a algorithmic walk

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