guide lines for apprehending psychographs
During psychogeographical or mythogeographical walks [DRIFTS] one is expected to shift focus from one plain to the other. Most of the time a mental reaction is established early on. Senses are overwhelmed with primary ambience leading to the state of open minded “blindness”. They are entangled by the forces of decisive attraction. In my case occasionally “recomposed drift focus” glides [drifts?] to the unexpected or sights usually unrecognized as significant. I call them: psychographs. Psychogeography is a window to the urban future. Psychographs are illustrative individual examples.

*Psychographs are scenes, incidents, accidents, displays, actions, acts, events, signs, symbols, settings, episodes, pictures, icons, runes, marks, warnings, pointers, ideograms, inscriptions, tokens, auguries, spectacles, omens or anything that gives evidence voluntary or even unconscious, of an event, mood or mental or psychical state.

*psychographs are recorded moments of sensuous touch by genius loci.
*psycho - psychology, mental process, mental reaction
*graph - diagrams, graphic formula
*genius loci - spirit of the space

Whole idea of "drifting" trace back to 1950s "situationists’ wider drive to achieve a revolutionary transformation of everyday life. They were insisting on pedestrianism to experience astonishment and encrypted events of the city. Psychogeographical articulation of the modern city. Poverty of everyday life, contrast of what it could be and what presently is. Critique of our commodified consumer society so that our repressed desires of a more authentic nature could come forward. [01]

Avant-garde artists, revolutionary groups, urban explorers and other sometimes quite extreme practitioners, including me, are dedicated to action-based participatory experiments. "active search for and celebration of, chance and coincidence" – is one of the best descriptions of psychogeography existing today. [02]

In North America whole society is in crises in a both psychical and social sense. Deterioration of wellbeing due to the disappearing cheap energy resources, pollution of water and other natural resources, global food crises, basic transportation problems, deteriorating urban space, wrong decisions  made by urban planners and builders/developers is “screaming” for action.

“The city of panic is the place where nobody has the time anymore to get close to each other, for the caresses for the pleasure or for the slowness of whispered words. Advertisement exalts and stimulates the libidinous attention, person to person communication multiplies the promises of encounters, but these promises never get fulfilled. Desire turns into anxiety and time contracts.” [03]

The time has come to realize the need for mental change. The world needs Big Dreamers following a vision of a better future, consisting in equality, justice and freedom.” [04]

World is entering new redevelopment phase. Rediscoveries has to be made with renewed new usage: Rediscover - Renew - Reuse. Psychogeography is the only effective analytical technique, in this rediscovered variation, in the arsenal of weapons of professional sustainable urban planners or enthusiastic explorer and I considering myself somewhere in the middle with added artistic [conceptual] dimension. Psychogeography is another weapon in constant struggle for the “Power for the People”

Redevelopment of democratic movements is another result of this activity. Involvement, organization and perhaps even funding of these actions through the official city structures can be highly beneficial for all interested. Citizen needs, especially recent newcomers that is rising to 50% of inhabitants of Toronto for example, can be identified and then influence economic renewal. Performance by itself is a social engagement and its adding to the much needed sense of belonging to the space.

Everyone has the right to find in the cities the conditions necessary for his or her political, economic, cultural, social, and ecological realization while assuming the associated duties of solidarity. [05]

Psychographs are items, points, stages, elements in psychogeographical search to help us understand the multiplicity of language of urban space.

Starting point in everyday practise is opening your mind. Positioned to absorb you are focused on the place itself, genius loci [spirit of the place] is revealing "psychographs", small individual scenes preparing you for the powerful experiences in longer and more purposely oriented psychogeographical drifts. When turned to common praxis genius loci is willing to uncover things otherwise deeply hidden or with unrecognizable importance.That is when you notice that shifting focus suddenly makes thing fundamentally changed.

a.j. []


[01] Flemming Funch, Psychogeography and derive, 2002

[02] Wilfried Hou Je Bek,, 2007

[03] Franco Berardi (Bifo), City of Panic, 2007

[04] Bryan Finoki, A Field Guide to Military Urbanism, 2007

[05] Paper prepared for UN-HABITAT’s Global Campaign on Urban Governance.

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:: created by 2010 :: last time updated 03.02.2011 at 23:42:28 ::