What is Psychogeography?

This post was there, it was there ready to go, and then WordPress and the station WiFi colluded to leave me with a blank empty sheet. The words dissolved into a void. This time they will not beat me, as the words go down, so the uploads will go up; and so the post will built.

My source of all Knowledge Psychogeographical

After a quick dabble on Google, and the obligatory visit to Wikipedia I ended up here:

Psychogeography (Pocket Essentials)- By Merlin Coverly

This was a book that promised to cover the ‘essentials’, and was available as a Kindle publication on Prime, a book that ticked all the boxes that this series of posts required.

In my naivety I assumed that this topic would be a heady mix of geography, psychology, photography and cartography. Merlin Coverly however, soon led me into a pure art world of Pre-situatiotinists, left wing urban politics and areas more aligned with the idealistic world of art students than a simple navigator who enjoyed the landscape, and its relationship with people and the layers of history.

But, I will perservere, me and my little Kindle will go exploring that grid square armed with whatever the subject offers to enrich the wanderings.

Psychogeography defined

Here is the most common accepted definition of the term:

“The study of the specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organised or not, on the emotions and behaviour of the individuals” Guy Deborod, Introduction to Critique of Urban Geography

However, Coverley also offers a far simpler description; a great tagline for the subject:

“the point at which pychology and geography collide”

Deeper into his book Coverley offers another idea, and one that has appeal as a basis to sit this blog series on, he states that Psychogeography may usefully be viewed as:

“the meeting point of a number of ideas and traditions with interwoven histories”

That I like.

The urban problem

These definitions have ignored an obstacle to exploring this subject on this blog ; Psychogeography is considered by the art establishment as urban, gothic, dark and politically subversive. That is not Bradley Stoke. That is not a navigator with a Kindle.


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