Research Diary #1

Primarily, the research has been my own experience while walking in confined spaces in the city frustrated and unsure what side to walk in as I’m a foreigner to England but after having lived here a while also have become a foreigner to my home country; in regards to walking the city at least. Thereafter, I started looking for theory written by academics in the library to back up my own observation of the city.

The academic theory related to my project is mainly where the project question comes from (Michel de Certeau, 1984, The practice of Everyday Life), that theorise the practise of walking in the city, but also the idea about Psychogeography by Guy Debord.

‘The act of walking is to the urban system what the speech act is to language’ (Certeau, M. p.97)

Coverley, Merlin (20060 Psychogeography. Chapter: Guy Debord and the Situationist International p81-p110. Harpendem, Herts. Pocket Essentials.

In this chapter Guy Debord defines the term psychogeography partly as ‘Psychogeography could set itself the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals’ (p.88). This definition is highly relevant for my area of study as my two main interests are individuals behaviour when someone (me) walking in the ‘wrong’ side and the geographical layout of the city depending on what country you are in.

Debord goes on saying: ‘Emotional zones that cannot be determined simply by architectural or economic conditions must be determined by following the aimless stroll (d’erive), the result of which may then form the basis of a new cartography characterised by a complete disregard for the traditional and habitual practices of the tourist’ (p.90).

These are a couple of books and academic theory I can attach to my practical work in Media Culture 2


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