Thursday, October 13, 2005

street walking 

I woke up in an armchair yesterday morning with trouble by the have-nots on a loop in my head to be greeted by marie wagging her finger at me sternly and wailing ‘I am *incredibly* cross with you’ Befuddlement reigned for a few moments; yes there was whiskey and beer and good times and GREAT music but what had I done/not done/ let someone else do? Reassuringly my heart felt light and my head clear, I couldn’t recall being a twat (well, no more than normal) and certainly hadn’t been drunk enough for a memory hole. Hell, I didn’t even attempt to climb onto the roof….

After everyone moved on (as they always do: bands will use and abuse you and break your heart) I met up with alex aka bored in the city to plot some more psychogeogragphical shenanigans. I first met alex when I was wielding a megaphone at a free market and he was trying to get urbis to take his zine. I like him because in a culture that celebrates stupidity he takes palpable joy in intellectual pursuits and he’s always generous with his knowledge. A very interesting guy.

We’re planning an extravaganza before the winter sets in, with talks and walks and map making and fun…ideas and contributions to this welcome btw…so much potential… I was amazed at the mayday derive, lots of people I’ve never seen before and we ended up getting a tour of a derelict warehouse being transformed into a television studio…a fascinating day brimming over with glorious synergy and coincidence

However, I still struggle with the word ‘psychogeography’ It’s a pretentious sounding label for a concept that encompasses lots of my favourite things. I made some flyers for a couple of events we did and in the end I had to draw a wonky venn diagram to try and represent. It’s got 6 circles, labeled map making, de/regeneration, serendipity, social history, situationism and art. A big arrow points to the intersection of them all and says psychogeography is here (sort of)

The text reads: Where is psychogeography? I dunno. There’s loads of academic stuff around, but to me it’s a beautiful, chaotic, ambiguous place, like the city we live in…it’s listening to cracks in the pavement, reclaiming our streed, creating spectacles, hunting ghosts, finding magick in the mancunian rain and discovering hidden views and new ways of feeling… if you stumble onto one of our expeditions – and you’d be very welcome - everyone will give you different directions, not to confuse you but because we are all making our own way. We are not a group but you can find out what we’re up to or discuss ideas by emailing us or getting info from the basement

Alex gave me some maps and tales of map making (mmmmmmmm) which he found at the seductive looking British Library website www.collectbritain.co.uk
(I’m aware of an irony here – I love maps but Monday night I got a lift back from leeds and we ended up in stockport; the latest in a lifelong series of me getting lost. I also have a terrible habit of giving direction which include the line ‘no, the *other* left)

Probably my favourite psychogeography resource is the maps archive: they were active in Manchester for a few years and the levitation of the corn exchange in tribute to john dee was a total work of genius

“After several minutes of concerted effort, a colleague begged leave to point out that with the Corn Exchange being so crowded any prolonged levitation could prove injurious to the health of the people trapped inside. Electrical faults and falling masonry were also taken into consideration. It was noted that staff inside the corner fish and chip shop were beginning to panic. A vote was taken and in the interest of safety the levitation was halted” http://www.map.twentythree.us/


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