After it was mentioned in my tutorial that I should look at something called psychogeography I have picked up a book by Will Self called Psycho Too.
I thought it wouldn’t really be relevant to me and I have been putting off looking into this further. However, I was proved wrong in this case as the act of being a psycho geographer is something that I have been doing for a long time in relation to my art and photography work.
The Urban Dictionary describes psychogeography as:
The practice of exploring the urban environment while being led by curiosity and a paused sense of time and place. While it is important to let your senses absorb the spaces around you, it is equally, if not more important to find yourself in new spaces, spaces stumbled upon by chance; paying attention to the smaller details, the lost objects, the signage, the fragments that make walking a reward in itself, with a slower pace and an increased opportunity to revel in the simple pleasures of things. A sense of wander/wonder is essential to find the simplicity in urban living.
In an Introduction to a critique of urban geography, Guy Debord describes it as; “The sudden change of ambience in a street within the space of a few meters; the evident division of a city into zones of distinct psychic atmospheres; the path of least resistance which is automatically followed in aimless strolls (and which has no relation to the physical contour of the ground); the appealing or repelling character of certain places – all this seems to be neglected.”
So, how does this all link to my practice?
I visit tourist destinations as a member of the public, I’m sometimes alone, sometimes with others, but there is always instances where I see something that starts my creativity flowing and it could be anything, but there is something that makes me reach for my camera whether it is to photograph, record videos or to Vine. When this moment comes, I suddenly leave my surroundings behind me, it might seem to others that I am just trying to get a ‘good shot’ but there’s more to it than that. It’s about that moment and documenting it how I see it and how I’m going to remember it and this might include photographing the graffiti written on the side of a rubbish bin and these recordings are the stimulus of my own memory, 1 year, 5 years or however many years down the line.
Image from: https://nearlynetworked.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/psychogeography1.jpg