Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Psychogeography News - February 2016

Ally Standing and myself will be editing and designing a special edition of STEPZ and providing accompanying artwork for the ‘Loitering With Intent’ Exhibition at the People’s History Museum in Manchester from July to September 2016.

Terminalia - Festival of Psychogeography in Leeds
A day of free events of walks, performances and interventions by local artists and psychogeographers on 23 February. Includes the main "Beating the Bounds" walk at 6.00pm around the medieval boundary markers of the city.

Psychogeography Review’s Recommendations of the Year
Bobby Seal’s review of psychogeography books, music and films of 2015.

London Underground Rent Map
A recreation of the famous underground map showing the average rent at every station: map (designer unknown).

Here’s How We Can Learn to Fall in Love With Shocking Buildings
“Shocking new buildings often threaten to invade our cities. Sometimes, they simply land like alien spaceships, giving us very little warning. Foreign in form, colour and texture, these statement structures seem far removed from the reality of our daily lives”.

Post-Nearly Press
Psychogeography small press. Includes Andrew Kotting and Chris Petit.

Twenty-Six Psychogeography Stations
Darrant Hinisco’s Urban Gerbil artist book.

Psychogeography Symposium – Edge Hill University
23 February 6.00-7.15. Includes talks by Walking Inside Out authors Phil Smith, Morag Rose and Andrea Capstick.

Previous Newsletters
January 2016

Friday, 5 February 2016

Call for Papers – Psychogeography Zine for Manchester Exhibition

Special Edition of STEPZ for the ‘Loitering With Intent’ Exhibition at the People’s History Museum in Manchester (UK) from July to September 2016.

We (Tina Richardson and Ally Standing) will be editing and designing a special edition of STEPZ and providing accompanying artwork for the above exhibition. Please consider this a CFP for written content for STEPZ, the first edition of the zine since the pilot in the summer of 2015. Inspired by the lyrics of the Mancunian punk poet, John Cooper Clarke (JCC), the zine will be Manchester and The North influenced, in particular looking at themes that are consistent across urban space in this geographic region. We are looking for short text-based submissions based on this subject and within the broad realms of psychogeography. They can be directly inspired by JCC’s lyrics, about Manchester itself, or more generally about Northern Psychogeography. The working title for the submission is currently - ‘Keith Joseph smiles and a baby dies, in a box on Beasley Street’ – but this may change. Please also consider the context of the exhibition in The People’s History Museum (in other words, we are also interested in texts that represent ‘the people’, are radical and/or are about historical working-class struggle, providing it can be loosely tied to the city or urban walking e.g. the Jarrow March).

Below is part of the original CFP for the exhibition itself. We have included these themes to suggest ideas that can be tied into the overall theme of Manchester/The North or, indeed, JCC:
  • Psychogeography (however you choose to define it)
  • Creative walking, walking art and walking as a cultural or political practice
  • Public/private space and the right to the city
  • Radical, emotional and hidden histories, especially of or linked to Manchester
  • The Situationist International and their legacy
  • Critical geographical responses to urban issues and inequalities such as surveillance, gentrification, homogenisation, etc.
Final submissions should be no longer than 1000 words and can be commentary, psychogeographical accounts, poetry or short essays. If you wish to supply photos to accompany your work you can, but we will be treating/reappropriating them in order to fit within the overall design of zine if we use them, so please bear this in mind. Images will need to be your own so that there are no copyright issues. We will acknowledge your images if we use them, but please be aware that they will be changed to fit the aesthetic of the zine. You are not required to submit photos to accompany your final text, though, and artwork on its own is not a part of this CFP. If you are interested please supply a 200 word abstract plus a 100 word bio about yourself, to Tina Richardson by using the contact page on this website schizocartography by 28 February.

Abstracts in by: midnight 28 Feb
Replies re: submissions returned by: midnight 6 Mar
First draft to editors in by: midnight 3 Apr
Edits returned to authors by: 17 Apr
Final draft to editors in by: midnight 8 May
(please note, these deadlines are subject to change)

Needless to say there is no fee for your contributions, sorry, and Tina and Ally will not be receiving payment in any form for the production of the zine, the artwork or the final submission. We are hoping to be able to apply for a small amount of funding to cover the physical cost of producing the zine and artwork.

If you have any further questions please contact Tina at the above website.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you, Tina Richardson and Ally Standing

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Psychogeography News - January 2016

A Psychogeography of Lewes
“Travel writing, like all life writing, is useful, truthful and sometimes beautiful. But in 2015, the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research at the University of Sussex jumped off track to enjoy the beauty of useless travelling and the art that can be made from it. We took to the town of Lewes for these micro-journeys, because Lewes is on our doorstep (the psychogeographer doesn’t need the exotic), because Lewes and its environs are dreamy, odd and old, if only faintly urban…”

Maps Made From the Mind, Not From GPS
“When we aren’t sure how to get somewhere, our first instinct is to plug the address into a GPS gadget and let the program figure out the rest. But by relying so much on GPS, we miss out on the thrill of exploration…Archambault’s maps are based solely on his own explorations and time spent with locals in a given city.”

Will Self Leads Walking Tour of Bristol
“Will Self was not taking no for an answer. Having lined up a slightly reluctant 30-strong audience against a craggy old stone wall in Bristol, the author, journalist, thinker and walker was urging them to press their faces against it and ruminate.”

Brutalist London Map
“Want to navigate yourself around examples of one of the 20th century's most debated architectural styles? Arm yourself with this Brutalist London Map by Blue Crow Media and take a wander around the capital.”

Elsewhere – A Journal of Place
“Elsewhere is published twice a year, and is a journal dedicated to writing and visual art that explores the idea of place in all its forms, whether city neighbourhoods or island communities, heartlands or borderlands, the world we see before us or landscapes of the imagination.”

Video Strolls
“A community of filmmakers. A museum of films. An introduction to videos about place and journeys”

If you would like to subscribe to an email of this newsletter, please get in touch via the contact page here: www.schizocartography.org

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Hyperreality Flux - Twenty Six Psychogeography Stations – Review

Twentysix Psychogeography Stations is a playfully complicated reincarnation of Ed Ruscha’s piece, Twentsix Gasoline Stations. Where his images are a desolate yet romantic record of a single journey, a drift of the automotive rather than ambulatory kind, simultaneously a literal and toneless reproduction of mass culture imagery and a downbeat celebration of Americana, Hinisco’s collection of images spans several decades and two continents, and problematises artistic representation….There is another significant difference – or rather I should say diffĂ©rance – between the two books. Gasoline Stations constructs a syntagm of images that support each other in the production of meaning. The observer feels that these pictures are representations of a physical reality out there somewhere, even though the photographs are clearly arranged for artistic purposes – indeed because they are arranged. Meaning is presented as more or less stable. Psychogeography Stations is the supplement to it, upsetting its ontological stability, usurping its ‘reality’ by functioning as its binary in a representation/simulacrum opposition. Psychogeography Stations, by destabilising interpretation, presents a simulacrum of its predecessor (this is reinforced by the identical cover design), making uncertain the concept of journey by reflecting the underlying form of Gasoline Stations, and subverts its own representation of ‘reality’ via the precession of signs.” Jim Lawrence

You can read Lawrence’s full review here: Hyperreality Flux

For further Information:
For more information about the book: click here for Hinisco’s book launch announcement and here for sample photographs. The 50 page book costs £4.99 plus postage at 63p to UK (for international postage, please enquire). If you have a Paypal account you can click here to log into Ebay to purchase it. If you prefer to pay by cheque, please use the contact page here to message the Editor of Urban Gerbil Publications, Tina Richardson, for address details and other queries. Thank you.

Related links:
STEPZ: A Psychogeography and Urban Aesthetics Zine

Thursday, 3 December 2015

A Psychogeography of Lofthouse – Part 2

For the ‘Ruhleben - Lofthouse Park Civilian Internment Project’

Please click here for Part 1 of the blog.

The above image is of the new estate, which according to the developers is actually called Lofthouse Park, which is interesting since that was also the name of the internment camp, so maybe not thought through too well (the roads in the new estate mostly begin with ‘Springfield’ so this may have been a better name). However, from our calculations it is possible that the new estate does overlap the old camp to a very small degree, although it is the older estate to the south that seems to cover the ground that was the camp, along with the Peter Duffy field mentioned in the last blog. The older estate looks, predominantly, interwar and has a variety of different housing, quite a lot of which looks like ex-public housing.

The above images are on either side of the road that separates the two estates. There were a couple of telegraph poles on this road, but none on the new estate, since they are not needed any more. Opposite one of the telegraph poles (the one further on from the disturbing UKIP one shown above) there was the junction box, which you can just see in the other image. Tim Waters was interested in this infrastructure in relation to the old camp. I tried to find some information about the telegraph system that may have existed at that time, and interestingly came across this document, from The Rothwell Courier and Times, that discusses the escape of prisoners from the camp on July 3rd 1915: ‘How Two Men Got Away’.

I’m afraid I didn’t take enough photos of the old estate, as we didn’t know during the walk itself that this was the area that would have been the camp itself. However, I did get a picture of this lovely old shed. It’s pretty dilapidated (and made of corrugated metal, like the Nissan huts would have been) and we wondered if it could possible date back to the time of the camp.

The image above, while not on the camp site, is not too far away in the area called Lofthouse Gate and is a memorial for the Lofthouse Colliery There was a mining disaster there in 1973, although the memorial does not mention that. There is a memorial that does honour the dead in Wrenthorpe, which is not far from Lofthouse. The colliery would have also been there in WWI since the dates on the stone say 1871-1981. The border for the administrative districts of Leeds and Wakefield are in this area somewhere between Lofthouse Park and Lofthouse Gate.

Above I have included a super map by Tim Waters, which overlays the old camp on the current space. This map shows the area of the camp as an amusement park, which is what is was before it became the internment camp. You can just see there is a slight overlap at the north of what was the camp on what is now the new estate (see Springfield Rd and Springfield Ave). The area on the south-west of the new estate is the old estate (see Park Ave – maybe referring to the previous amusement park) and the field to the east of that is the scrubland owned by Peter Duffy.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Twenty Six Psychogeography Stations – Sample Photographs

Below are some of the photos included in Darrant Hinisco’s Twenty Six Psychogeography Stations. The book is a dĂ©tournement of the famous artists book by Ed Ruscha: Twenty Six Gasoline Stations.

You can read the preface here and also Darrant’s launch announcement. The book is edited by Tina Richardson, author of Walking Inside Out. It is published by Urban Gerbil. Please, scroll down below the images for purchasing information.



How To Purchase
The 50 page book costs £4.99 plus postage at 63p to UK (for international postage, please enquire). You can pay by cheque or paypal. Please use the contact page here to reach Tina Richardson, to purchase the book and for other queries. Thank you.

Related links:
STEPZ: A Psychogeography and Urban Aesthetics Zine

Friday, 27 November 2015

A Psychogeography of Lofthouse – Part 1

For the ‘Ruhleben - Lofthouse Park Civilian Internment Project’

On November 25th 2015 Tim Waters and I carried out a drift around what had been, in the First World War, a prisoner of war internment camp in Lofthouse, Wakefield, West Yorkshire. The particular area that was the camp, is adjacent to a modern housing estate located opposite the golf course.

The image below is taken from Wakefield Libraries Collection and I found it on 'The Neglected Books Page' which discusses a book called Time Stood Still: My Internment in England 1914-1918, by Paul Cohen-Portheim. The book is about a German civilian who was interned at Lofthouse. The overview of the book (linked above) is worth reading as it gives you an insight into life there from one person’s perspective:
“The past was dead, the future, if there should be a future, was a blank, there was nothing left but the present, and my present was the life of a prisoner.” (Paul Cohen-Portheim).

The objective of our walk was psychogeographical to the extent that a) we were looking for material archaeology in the terrain that may lead to clues of the area’s past and b) we wanted to get as sense of the aesthetics of the space as it is today.

A good example of material archaeology are drain covers, inspection covers, manhole covers and infrastructure grills of various kinds. They can often tell you about the industrial (and social) history of an area. Sometimes you are able to date the object itself, which then indicates infrastructure work during a particular period in the area’s history. The above cover is for Yorkshire Water Authority and is on the north of the area that would have been the original camp. Yorkshire Water no longer use the ‘authority’ part of the name, so this dates it prior to the privatisation of water authorities in the UK under the Water Act of 1989. The company name is Brickhouse Dudley, and as this article in Black Country Bugle explains, the company used this name prior to 1967. So we can be sure that this part of the water system was either installed, extended or updated at some point prior to that time.

The above image is on the large set of flats on the entrance to the estate. Tim and I thought it very odd that windows on a new building had been filled in. It is reminiscent of the window tax of the 18C and 19C.

While we did walk around the new estate, we felt the periphery of it would lead us to more 'concrete' clues. This blob of concrete, with a smudge of yellow road-marking paint on it, was quite near the water and electricity infrastructure hub, which was surrounded by bollards in a most striking way, placed to prevent any temptation of the will to park!

While we were at this above spot a woman pulled out of the estate in her BMW, which indicated to me that this was probably a ‘middle-class’ housing estate, although Tim thought that the empty jar of olives was a better indication. I had to agree.

This fenced-off ‘scrubland’ to the south of the new estate probably partly covers the area that was the original camp. It would have been interesting in term of signs on the ground if we could have accessed it. Peter Duffy dominated this side of the estate. When we came across this sign we were unsure what the company did. But it later became apparent, when co-incidentally our different route back to the station took us past their HQ. They are civil engineers.

The picture below is both a random image of a psychogeographer in action, but also it is the gateway from the new estate onto a public footpath that takes you into a nearby field.

We went to the edge of this agricultural field and tried to look on the ground for any old bricks or stones that led to any clues.

I later read that the site used to be Roper’s Brickworks. From what I can tell Roper’s seems to be related to this quarry which dominated the Lofthouse Gate area at one time: Lofthouse Gate Brickworks. In the book Welcome to my World the author, Charlie Walker, says:
“I had obtained a job at a local brick yard: Roper's Brickworks at Lofthouse Gate near Wakefield. It was owned by Aberford Quarries and managed by a great bloke called Cliff Farrar. Cliff lived in a big house nearby and had become the manager after marrying the previous owner’s daughter. Yes, Cliff’s wife was old man Roper’s daughter.”

Part 2 of the blog is available here.