Jun 16, 2007

Urban Nomad

A while back I promised a loong in-depth series about the aborigine mapping-koncept of songlines. And I admit it's been so so with the updates on that. But you must understand we're talking serious stuff here. Serious thinking.

So - introduced to the subject by the gentlemen Hank Williams and in particular Tony Bennett - let's continue warming up on the subject and take a detour around urban nomads.

Many people living in cities today doens't let themselves be defined by a limited geographical locality. Rather our identity is created through the daily or weekly routes we move along through the city. From home, to work, to favorite bar, etc... and when we get a new job our route shifts and we see a new city. But we don't plot these routes according to practical consideration alone. They also follow our immediate desires and mood. Through these choices we define ourself and the city. And as the city changes atmosphere throughout the day, year or more - we change our routes. It is not the place that matters but the velocity (uuh - veloCITY) we choose to move with.

Naked City

The Parisian bohème around 1900, the flaneur, drifted strolling through the city. A tempo where the senses are kept open to even the most ephemeral impressions - the scent of a woman, the mood around montmatre at dawn.
The 50'ies International Situationists with Guy Debord and Asger Jorn made it into an artistic strategy - the Dérive. Their Psychogeographic maps are assembled of urban fragments. Areas and places with particular atmospheres, connected by taxi-rides.

Space changes over time. Not just when you build up or tear down. But because the subject that percieves the space always will be moving. Always interpreting. And thus an urban space is is not stable, but vibrating with the people who occupies it. Taking shape of their actions and the memories of other places they bring with them. Actions and memories again shaped by the space where they take place.

Extra bonus - found this along way:
Psychogeographic Guides to Paris and New Orleans

Extra extra bonus - Oh Tony, style and charm and those moves, my new hero... here's three more videos with him:
Interview and duet wit K.D. Lang - such an odd couple making that particular song even more beautiful.
Starring in the Comedy show Saturday Night Live - this really made me crack up.
And finally the young Tony again on the Dean Martin Show - those funky underplayed moves


Hajra said...

That map is so cool!!!!!
Scary coincidence that I see your blog now, about two days after, coincidentally, just seeing this, and first ever hearing about Gordon Matta Clark (you mentioned him few posts down the page)! Well, they could be coincidentally all over the news, or my virtual space could be curved by google ads, who knows.

adam said...

Wohoo HAjra - so glad to see you here :)

But coincidences don't stop there - apparently you have been writing this simultanious to me writing this!

And yesterday I came across this movie ... all clear indications that virtual space is curving like hell and google and cia is probably behind it all...

Anyways - I think I better blog your absolutely wonderful situationist alice movie... :)