Palimpsests, strange maps, interesting links
(Posted by Adrian - December 7, 2009)


noun 1 a parchment or other surface on which writing has been applied over earlier writing which has been erased. 2 something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form: the house is a palimpsest of the taste of successive owners.
— ORIGIN from Greek palin ‘again’ + psestos ‘rubbed smooth’.

Lombard Street, September 9 2009, (c) A Holme, 2009. All rights reserved.


Augé, Marc. (1995) Non-Places – Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity.
Benjamin, Walter. (1999) The Arcades Project.
Cosgrove, Denis. (1984) Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape.
Coverley, Merlin. (2006) Psychogeography.
de Certeau, Michel. (2002) The Practice of Everyday Life.
Debord, Guy. (2004) Society of the Spectacle.
Keiller, Patrick. (1999) Robinson in Space.
Knabb, Ken (ed.) (1982) Situationist International Anthology.
Lefebvre, Henri. (1991) The Production of Space.
Vertov, Dziga. (1985) Kino Eye.

Announcements / events

October 26, 2009
Public talk
Posted by Adrian

From Housmans Bookshop Website

'What is Psychogeography Today'?
with Rich Cochrane &

Saturday 7th November 5pm till 6.30pm
Housmans Bookshop
5 Caledonian Road
N1 9DX,

'Rich Cochrane explores the modern significance of psychogeography. Does modern psychogeography retain anything of the radical agenda of the 1960s? Should it? Does the term really mean much in relation to modern practice?'
external image thecityinman.jpg

29/10/2009 - 'Edgeland'
A short film on Vimeo about "The destruction of land, common land, allotments and football pitches to make way for the 2012 Olympics"
The film features contributions from Ian Sinclair, whose book 'Lights out for the Territory' - documenting of a series of psychogeographical walks around London - is on the reading list.
"The story moves through the various disrupted people who point out that this land is not simply unused. But provides an escape from the city."

Writings on psychogeography

The flaneur

'The crowd is his element, as the air is that of the birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flaneur, for a passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heat of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to find oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the cente of the world, and yet remain hidden from the world...'
Baudelaire C (1975). The painter of modern life & other essays. London: Phaidon Press, p9. In: Coverley M (2006). Psychogeography. Harpenden: Pocket Essentials. p61

'The street conducts the flaneur into a vanished time. For him, every street is precipitous. It leads downward - if not to the mythical Mothers, then into a past that can be all the more spellbinding because it is not his own, not private. Nevertheless, it always remains the time of a childhood. But why that of the life he has lived? in the asphalt over which he passes, his steps awaken a surprising resonance. The gaslight that streams down on the paving stones throws an equivocal light on this double ground'
Benjamin W (1999). The arcades project. Ed. Rolf Tiederman. Transl. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Cambridge Mass.: Belknap Press / Harvard Univ Press. p416. [M1,2]

' first comes into its own as an extension of the eye of the middle class flaneur, whose sensibility was so accurately charted by Baudelaire. The photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitering, stalking, cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes. Adept of the joys of watching, connoisseur of empathy, the flaneur finds the world "picturesque." '
Sontag S. (1977). On photography. London: Penguin