Dérive- A pyschogeaographical tool

Time to dig into the my reference book again and come back out with another pyschogeographical word.
The second of the two pyschographical tools also is blessed with a French name, Dérive. 

“Dérive A mode of experimental behaviour linked to the conditions of urban society: a technique of transient passage through varied ambiances. Also used to designate a specific period of continuous deriving.”

Psychogeography (Pocket Essentials (Paperback))

Transient passage through varied ambiances

This is the core concept of the definition, but a concept that does not offer much in practical advice on how to carry out a Dérive.

Merlin Coverley expands this defintion by explaining that a 
dériveur is conducting a psychogeographical investigation that results in a return home after noteing the ways in which the areas traversed resonate with particular moods and ambiences. The result of this activity is to arrive at the 

“central hypothesis of the existence of psychogeographical pivotal points”.


This word  features frequently in  the book, and appears fundamental to the idea of Psychogeography. It is  defined by the Oxford English dictionary as:

“The character and atmosphere of a place”

So it appears tvat the purpose of a Dérive is to obtain notes on the atmosphere of the locations wallked through. But then I may be wrong.

Psychogeographical pivotal points

Surely a term that has great potential, surely a term that is form the objective of my wanderings. Unfortunately there is just the one mention of the term by Coverley. I like the concept, I like the idea and therefore it is one I will run with.

Where is this psychogeographical series of posts  going?

Now armed with Dérive and Détournement this is where I will head.

  • Wander across grid square  ST 6280 
  • Record the journey with the Kindle 
  • Produce  collages of the images with the Kindle
  • Find those psychogeographical pivotal points
  • Add some map exploring along the way

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