Psychogeography
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Psychogeography
Walking & Wandering through Cities, Edgelands, Unplaces, Liminal Zones and Imaginary Worlds
Curated by Gareth Rees
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The Transhistorical Folk Landscapes of Lutine

The Transhistorical Folk Landscapes of Lutine | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

The debut album by Lutine emerges, shimmering, through a rift in time: a grieving widow who wanders the English countryside in a cruel sunshine haze.

 

In these songs of regret and melancholy, human fate is intertwined with the landscape.

 

In ‘Sallow Tree’, Morton sings with precision tremolo, “Silent sorrow all around / tears are falling / ancient worlds bring me down and out of reach / underneath the sallow tree / I offer you my sympathy”.

The sallow tree is another term for a willow tree. These are common symbols of sadness and mourning. In Hamlet, Ophelia drowns near a willow. And in Charlotte Smith’s ‘Sonnet 42: Composed during a walk on the Downs, in November 1787′…

 

 The dark and pillowy cloud,the sallow trees,

Seem o’er the ruins of the year to mourn:

And cold and hollow, the inconstant breeze,

Sobs through the falling leaves and wither’d fern

 

In Lutine’s lyrics, the landscape often reflects human hope and despair – the technique of pathetic fallacy which Thomas Hardy was fond of using. But they also sing of a natural world which is disinterested in human emotion. Cycles of summer and winter, light and dark, warmth and cold, death and birth. These continue, regardless of our personal grief....

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The Village that Died for England

The Village that Died for England | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

Tyneham is modern England’s archetypal ‘lost village’: a Dorset hamlet in a beautiful coastal valley evacuated to make a training area for allied tanks during the Second World War, and never returned to its  inhabitants despite Churchill’s pledge of restitution. It has lurked in the national imagination ever since: the symbol of a vanished England.

The Village that Died for England is the second of my two English road books. It tells the story of the historical landscape around the minor road that comes up from the popular resort of Lulworth Cove, and passes close to Lulworth Castle before crossing a stretch of heath to climb the chalk ridge of the Purbeck Hills and then descending into the secretive and now militarized Tyneham valley beyond....

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The Stones and the Torment (Part 1)

The Stones and the Torment (Part 1) | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

Using Glasgow’s stone circle and streets to explore an old idea that if you walk a city enough you will discover hitherto unseen streets, immortal historical characters, vanishing gardens and parallel realities. (With apologies to Poe, Machen, Sinclair, etc!)

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Suburban Safari - Ruislip Gardens to Gerrards Cross

Trek through the swamp lands of West London crossing the Yeading Brook, Ickenham Marsh, the River Pinn, Fray's River, Grand Union Canal, River Colne, and the...
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The Outer Church Goes Coastal | Unofficial Britain.

The Outer Church Goes Coastal | Unofficial Britain. | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

I’m honoured to have been invited to read aloud some new pieces on the forthcoming Outer Church tour.

 

The three night run includes gigs in Ramsgate, Southern-On-Sea and Brighton. Appropriately the tour is called ‘Coastal’. Expect spooky sonics, spectral lyrics, weird psychogeographics and landscape themes. 


The gigs will star Aberystwyth based duo The Lowland Hundred, whose latest album is featured in this Unofficial Britain post. Also electronic folk artist Kemper Norton and Brighton folk duo Lutine.

Gareth Rees's insight:

If you're in the area, come along to one of these 3 gigs in September, I’ve prepared some new pieces about Valhalla on the Rye Coast, estuaries of the human body, the Sussex coastline as a deathscape and an ode to the sea that includes the word ‘sea’ repeated an awful lot.


Cheers!

Gareth

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Beowulf in Faversham? In search of a Kentish Grendel | Unofficial Britain.

Beowulf in Faversham? In search of a Kentish Grendel | Unofficial Britain. | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

It’s a compelling thought.; the monster Grendel inhabiting the bleak marshlands of the Isle of Harty (part of what we now call Sheppey), just over the water from the town of Faversham, separated from the mainland by The Swale.

 

These islands tend to overfeed the imagination; lost tribes can dwell there, grisly remains, evolutionary dead ends, the sons of Cain.

Sheppey, and the other small islands that appear as odd unmarked blanks of green on Google Maps, hold dark histories. Deadmans Island and Burnt Wick Island, so close to home and practically unknown, are borderline inaccessible. They hold the mass graves of Napoleonic French prisoners who died on the prison hulks (you’ll know them from Great Expectations) and their bones now rise from the silt.

 

Walk the Hollow Shore between Faversham and Whitstable, look out over to the island across the Swale, no one else around and the wind stinging the eyes. It’s easy to feel Anglo-Saxon in such a place.

More than anything we want the monsters to be there.

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Birmingham wander - the lost byway

Birmingham wander - the lost byway | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

Headed up to Birmingham yesterday to show my two Solstice Walk super 8 short films in the Still Walking Festival – a screening organised by Magic Cinema and Video Strolls. Leaving London can feel strange sometimes, my wanderings around and within the city occasionally breaking the borders into Essex or Middlesex feel transformative enough, so coursing through the open countryside on a Virgin train is like traveling to another country, leaving the City State for that mythical isle – ENGLAND.

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Wobbly Lincolnshire Landscapes

Wobbly Lincolnshire Landscapes | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

Maxim Peter Griffin is an artist, cartographer and walker based in Lincolnshire. He catalogues the contours, colours and latent energies of his county’s landscape.

 

Fields. Motorways. Holloways. Paths. Pylons. He breaks them down to their essential geometries.

 

This is not a purely cartographic process. These images are what the artist describes as “wobbly”. They express a subjective human experience of the landscape, coloured by passion, terror, boredom, love, madness and magic. His lines aren’t static. They tremble.

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Guy Debord: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of a Brilliant Crank - Hazlitt Magazine

Guy Debord: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of a Brilliant Crank - Hazlitt Magazine | Psychogeography | Scoop.it
Hazlitt Magazine Guy Debord: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of a Brilliant Crank Hazlitt Magazine Both dérive and psychogeography were meant to thrust this critique out of the theoretical realm through the practice of going outside and placing one...
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The Geography of Melancholy | The American Reader

The Geography of Melancholy | The American Reader | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

Via Kaeleigh Herstad
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Kaeleigh Herstad's curator insight, July 24, 7:20 AM

Fascinating and informative read about melancholia and the urban environment. 

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Savage Messiah: England 2014

Savage Messiah: England 2014 | Psychogeography | Scoop.it
Western edges urban conurbationdislocated drifts..//250ml glasses of chardonnay, tramadol, diazepam, fluoxetine--monday club smirnoff and monster,tubourgblue lagoonconstruction sites/thc—travelodge stinking of weed.
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Living layers in Berlin

Living layers in Berlin | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

 

In this guest post by Eliza Apperly, we are immersed in Berlin, where the past and present of the urban landscape interweave in poignant and productive ways to transform the city of ghosts in to a city of promise.


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A Drift through Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

View the album on Flickr.
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Ian Boonham: Forbidden Cities

Ian Boonham: Forbidden Cities | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

These images focus on the idea of urban chaos and create a series of unique fantasy landscapes. Inspiration has been drawn from a wide range of places including optical illusions, platform games and crazy golf courses.

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Seaside Surrealism

Seaside Surrealism | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

Towards the end of a cycling holiday in Dorset and Somerset some years ago, our small group spent the last night at Castle Corfe, arriving in heavy rain. The morning after was perfect sunshine and the castle itself appeared like something from a fairy tale. Further visual derangement was to come. Piling the bikes in the guard’s van of the early morning steam train to the nearby seaside resort of Swanage, we discovered the carriages teeming with vintage train enthusiasts celebrating a local railway anniversary, as well as crowds of Morris Men, many blacked-up and covered in ribbons and bells, attending an international folk dance festival. The whole morning was like an extended scene from a 1950s film by Powell & Pressburger.

 

At the time none of us appreciated that Swanage and the Purbeck peninsula was the home ground of English surrealism...... 

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This Other London Storywalk - Myths and Legends of Finsbury, Pentonville & Barnsbury

Narrated guide through the myths and legends of Finsbury and Pentonville then Hounslow Heath for a live storywalk using Google Hangout on Air. Based on the book This Other London - adventures in the overlooked city by John Rogers.

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Lair of the Saurian: An exploration of Asda’s Jurassic Car Park

Lair of the Saurian: An exploration of Asda’s Jurassic Car Park | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

Superstores and their car parks are generally considered non-places, like budget hotel chains, storage facilities and motorway service stations. It doesn’t matter where in Britain you are, the Premier Inn, IKEA, Tesco, Roadchef or Big Yellow Storage remain consistent. They transcend geography, retaining their distinctive architecture, décor and narrative logic, much like Britain’s imperial outposts during the age of Empire.

 

Recently, it occurred to me that my only experience of a superstore car park was as a customer with a car. I’ve never treated the car park as a pedestrian destination. To remedy this, I set out on foot for the ASDA in Silverhill, Hastings with absolutely no intention of entering the store itself.

 

The approach is as expected: the green and glass frontage of ASDA looms large over the bus stop. But to the left I’m surprised by a frieze depicting dinosaurs, created as part of a ‘Community Inclusion Project’.... 

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The Humanoid Landscape – Whitstable and the gog/magog labyrinth

The Humanoid Landscape – Whitstable and the gog/magog labyrinth | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

Fen Lander has uncovered something strange – weird even – within the landscape of the Isles Of The Gods, that is, the British Isles . . .

A massive winged, horned, be-tailed cherub, angel, humanoid, that no one sees or has seen for two thousand years. According to the author, the name of every settlement, hamlet, village, town and city in England and Wales can be – is meant to be – read like a physiological diagram.

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Hand of Stabs: Asemic Approach

Hand of Stabs: Asemic Approach | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

This is the new work by Hand of Stabs, a progressive bone-age pagan skiffle band previously featured on Unofficial Britain. The video is by Kent-based artist Giles Whitehead.

 

The music is an undulating tribal shuffle, with heartbeat bass, swirls of analogue synth and a plethora of percussion instruments (made from what sound like old bits of farming equipment.)

 

The accompanying film is an impressionistic portrait of the landscape as experienced when moving through it. The focus (and lack-of) switches between town and country, industrial and rural using motorways and A-roads at night as conduits.

 

Pylons in a raw sunset, frazzled tees, piles of chopped logs, wind turbines, the ceilings of industrial buildings, metal grills and mesh. These alternating visions are fused by bleeding colour and fucked-up textures, until everything rolls past in a dazzle of synthetic and real, imagined and actual. The moon becomes a headlamp. The headlamp becomes a human eye. The music beats faster as the car accelerates.

At times all we see is an abstract blaze of light, utterly divorced from the source material. A world seen in the eye’s mind.

 

In this acid trip, the only coda you can cling to is the illuminated road at night to which the film repeatedly returns.

 

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High Wycombe - psychogeography - nodules of energy walk pt.1 - YouTube

Super 8 film of a walk in search of the psychogeographic 'nodules of energy' that surround the town of High Wycombe - shot in Winter Solstice 2004. The walk ...
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The Spiritual Hymn of A Broken Pipe in Devon | Unofficial Britain.

The Spiritual Hymn of A Broken Pipe in Devon | Unofficial Britain. | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

Electronic artist Laica specialises in dark, broken techno and brooding industrial atmospheres. Duality Field  #1 is the first in a series of treated sound recordings. Laica tells the story:


“On a recent holiday I took my mic out one morning to see if I could find any interesting sounds, I came across an old broken pipe leading down into the sea and just put my mic into it, the sound I heard back was this great drone created by the waves changing the air pressure in the old pipe, this track is made from two recordings i made, one from each end of the pipe, each recording is panned slightly to the left or right and the whole thing has then been stretched using Paul Stretch.”

The result is a spiritual hymn to our broken pipe dreams.

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Workshy Fop Review: Marshland

Workshy Fop Review: Marshland | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

Money is changing London. This isn’t just a metaphorical statement; the topography of the city is being altered by an influx of super-wealthy investors. The changes are social as well as physical, with young and creative people increasingly being forced out of their traditional locations by outrageous rents, and a simultaneous effort to close down music venues and other noisy, messy spaces. 


Gareth E Rees’ debut book, Marshland, is a psychogeographical account of one of the few undeveloped areas of London, a liminal space for drinkers, ravers, doggers and weirdos looking for a ‘refuge from an increasingly privatised city’.  Ranging from Hackney to Walthamstow and Leyton, Rees alternates between accounts of walks with his dog, meditations on the history of the area, and dark short stories, in which different stages of the marshes’ history are bought into shuddering confrontation.

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SIINAI - SHOPPING TRANCE (a Finnish supermarket drift)

Video by Sakari Piippo. From the LP SUPERMARKET by Siinai

Gareth Rees's insight:

8 minute video of a Finnish supermarket drift. 

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'Outside Looking On' - poetry from under the watchful eye of Canary Wharf

'Outside Looking On' - poetry from under the watchful eye of Canary Wharf | Psychogeography | Scoop.it

London born poet and critic Chimène Suleyman has lived under the watchful eye of Canary Wharf for most of her life. 

Her debut poetry collection Outside Looking On, explores the positive and negative side of loneliness and boredom, using the Docklands as allegory and symbol. 
The tall, glass monoliths are as lonely as the characters who exist around them. But they offer constant support; a navigational tool, stars in the sky, always there, lights on. A constant presence of reminder and reassurance. 

Outside Looking On asks the question, is it possible to claim a building for yourself that doesn’t know you exist?

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New Lexicons: Rye to the Pett Level

New Lexicons: Rye to the Pett Level | Psychogeography | Scoop.it
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