The effects of the world around you...
As I begin to get more and more into this course, I find myself becoming more intrigued by the notes I continually take throughout the days talks, lectures and conversations. Recently, I came upon my notes from a lecture I had a few weeks back from now- the word was Pyschogeography. Like you, upon hearing this word for the first time I had absoloutely no idea what it meant, or even what it was- I thought it was going to be one of those horrible university words that I was going to have to remember, even though for the life of me, I couldn't even pronounce it!
However, as my lecturer began to explain more about this term, my fear began to trickle away- it was in fact a really interesting art movement, that was started way back in 1955. Founded by a man known as Guy Debord, the history surrounding this topic is complicated to say the least- it seems all over people are trying to push their understanding of this movement onto us ,the finder, and so no matter where I read, the histories seemed to change. Due to this, I had to go with the basic understanding- what started the movement in the first place. Looking through my lecturers presentation after I got home I noted a quote down which I think will help you understand what this is all about. Said by Debord himself, he explains to anyone that asked that psychogeography is:
'The study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical world around you...'
In other words, this movement is about capturing either in photography or within sketching/painting the feeling created by the world around you- for example, if you were stood within a busy city street what would you see? Dirt, graffiti, crowds of rushing people and rubbish floating past- then think on how that would make you feel- grimy? overwhelmed? polluted? Its that which your studying that makes you a Psychogeographer- indeed its something the majority of us experience everyday, however its when you make art out of it that you become part of this fascinating movement.
A lot of photographers in particular have taken this era of art history into their own work- for example one person I plan to talk more about on this blog is a photographer called Chris Clunn- his capturing of the less glamourous parts of London in particular fascinate me, because these photos remind me more of this location than any postcard picture of Buckingham Palace, and that's because they're real, and they don't hide the scum and dirt which makes London so iconic- the explosions of noise from countless cultures, the graffiti and rubbish they leave behind- that's what captures the emotion of London.
Below I have put a few of my own photographs which I feel take on this amazing movement- for so many years now I have adored capturing the details of places including Birmingham and Norfolk (as an example) but never realised what I was doing- what era of art I was becoming part of. When you look at them note how they make you feel- what do they remind you of? The more you allow yourself to explore this aspect of your thought process, the more you become a psychogeographer.