Friday, 2 April 2021

Psychogeography News - April 2021


After a hiatus of a few years, I have decided to attempt to resurrect the psychogeography news for this blog. I used to do it monthly, prior to that I did it via a mailing list. Anyway, it seems like I stopped it in November 2016, so that’s over 4 years! Anyway, I am going to give it another go. The news will contain anything related to: walking, the city, urban space, landscape, public art, architecture, space-related activism, and so on – so whatever loosely comes under the rubric of ‘psychogeography’. I hope you find it interesting:

The Guardian: A joyless trudge? No, thanks: why I am utterly sick of ‘going for a walk’

An entertainingly cynical, article by a Canadian living in the UK during lockdown. It covers anything from dodgy footwear to Margaret Thatcher. Click here for full article.

The Claude Glass Revolutionized the Way People Saw Landscape

This is a really interesting academic, short, article about how a little mirror, named after the landscape artist Claude Lorrain, changed the way people viewed the landscape. For those Situationists amongst you, Lorrain was of interest to them due to his depictions of ruins (“the charms of the ruins”). The Situationists had a problem with the nostalgia engendered by images of ruins (and ruins themselves) and actually used one of Lorrain’s paintings in one of their maps. Click here for the article.

The Guardian: Is that a unicorn? No it’s a teenager taking a hike in the great outdoors.

This is about the Ramblers attempts to get young people out and about (and bumbling) in Britain’s wide open spaces. Includes some research and stats, for those who are interested in that kind of thing. Full article here.

Revisiting the Concrete Architecture of Belgian Icon Juliaan Lampens

I’m a big fan of brutalist architecture (and even included a large section on the work of Chamberlin, Powell and Bon in my thesis). I’m not an expert, though, and hadn’t heard of this chappy. An interesting article, with some nice images, here in The Wallpaper.

French Artist Unveils New Optical Illusion Installation in Italy

This uncanny installation appears on the fa├žade of the Pallazo Strozzi in Florence. It’s really fabulous and must be super to see in person. It reminds me of the opening to Civilization and its Discontents where Freud talks about how memory, and the unconscious, has the effect of forgetting. Freud uses a beautiful analogy of the ancient city of Rome to help him explain how the unconscious works (click here if you’d like to read my take on that). Click here for some images of the installation.

Building a Feminist City

This editorial, discussing the current focus on women’s safety in public space following Sarah Everard’s death, takes its starting point as Haussmann’s Paris (very Situationist). Click here to read the article in The Guardian.

Mouse Hole Update

A Really cute one to finish on. This from a blog entitled ‘Walks Between the Commons: American mom living in London’. It’s about a little mouse hole installation that local people decorate and offer gifts up to the pretend mice that live there, such as Christmas cards. It’s, basically, a sweet little bit of guerrilla urban creativity. Click here for the images.