code!z - Derives.meta

Getting Lost on Purpose


The Derive is a method to live an urban space in its very own peculiarities. It is the perception, real-time processing and positive feedback of the environment, that pushes on and on. An immediate experience of cities that directly shows psychogeographical issues; inspired by situationist pre-thinker and enfant terrible Guy-Ernest Debord.

Where Debord wanted to study the urban space as objectively as possible, the Derives here focus more on the individual participants. Psychogeography has, as every subject related to psychology, some parts that remain highly individual. These issues have been the important forces for this project. The question was, how landscape influences oneself and where it may lead you. The Derive is not only about the city, it is about the city in interaction with the participants. Therefore, not "rapid passage through varied ambiances" as proposed by Debord was the favorite way to move, but rather a walk at a velocity that was also influenced by the environments.

The image of a Derive as a line-path on an imaginary map discovers structures that are not obvious during the Derive itself. This abstract view may be seen in a 1:1 relation to (executable) code, all the statements to reconstruct the Derive are contained therein. Furthermore, as a consequence of the missing city map, the approach of a Derive is not biased. Points of the urban space, declared important by others for whatever reasons, should not take any influence on the examination beforehand.

Each map is reproduced in a scale of 200px/km and oriented north. Although the walking direction is a significant factor for a Derive, we did not represent this information on the maps.

For further readings, please refer to Debord, Guy-Ernest "Théorie de la Dérive", Internationale Situationniste n° 2, 1958, p. 58ff. Or, way better, get out there and explore yourself! It is about urban individuals, and even more about individual urbanisms.