The Matter of Psychogeography
Conclusion Extract 1: Resurgence and the Virtual
The current interest in rewriting and remapping urban space has taken hold at a time when communicating with each other has never been easier (aided by the internet and social networking). This has coincided with a geo-political moment when people are aware they have a stake in a city that is diminishing before their eyes. The differing groups and alternative strategies that come under the umbrella of psychogeography today, more than at any other time, are making available psychogeographical tools to fellow urbanites in order to help them express their subjective response to living/working in and moving about the city. Psychogeography related events and projects - even if they are not necessarily overtly activist or even described as psychogeography - enable a re/connection with a material space that is always potentially under threat of being renegotiated into private/prohibited space.
This connection to the concrete space of our towns and cities reflects a desire to offer a material/archaeological critique which excavates signs contained in the terrain that might be contrary to the dominant discourse (something that could be placed under the rubric of schizocartography). It often involves an exploration of the social history of a space that may exist below the surface and might not be obvious on a cursory viewing. The study of material culture helps reveal social boundaries - and the very ‘matter’ under critique by psychogeographers is urban space itself.
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