A pyschogeographical bus ride

John Bound's ramblings reports on his journey round the entire length of the Number 11 bus route in Birmingham from a psychogeographical perspective; Outer Circle Psychogeographical Report.

Image reproduced from http://www.birminghamitsnotshit.co.uk

Jon journeyed round the Number 11 route on the 11th November at 11am and his post is a psychological report on this journey. Pyschogeography was defined in the 1950s and is most associated with Guy Debord and the Situationists International. Pyschogeography is concerned with the effects of the geographical environment consciously or not on the emotions and behaviour of individuals.

One of the most prominent figures associated with psychogeography is Guy Debord. He was particularly concerned with overthrowing the then current rationalist ideas on urban planning and saw the need to reimagine the the city as a place of emotion, relationship, imagination and play. One strategy associated with pyschogeography is the dérive. “In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there.” (Knabb, 1995: 50). Maria Miranda, Scan Journal vol 4 number 3 december 2007, Uncertain Spaces: Artists’ Exploration of New Socialities in Mediated Public Space; http://www.scan.net.au/scan/journal/print.php?journal_id=101&j_id=12

Jon's description of the journey shares many of those thoughts i've had while travelling parts of the route. The greenery of Birmingham around Bournville and Kings Heath, the disjointed junction of Selly Oak and the competing ownership of the area with shops scattered, the priority for the motorist and the superstores leaving the pedestrian and motorist fighting to escape in any direction.

Birmingham is really green and lush in places, the mature trees either side of the road can fool you into thinking nothing happens, that people wash cars clean of that tree gloop and have special machines for either sucking or blowing leaves subject to preference. Riding on the top deck you feel the need for those heavy suburban curtains, the drives where the parked monster truck acts as a barrier.

The psychogeographical report is here.


Popular Posts