Introduction This paper presents mapping and psychogeography as the background for an artistic experimentation done with mobile technology. In December 2007, with the project Lencois.art.br, local habitants, especially kids, created an artistic map of urban experimentation of the city Lençóis, in Brazil. Having asked to wander around town with a mobile phone and record (through image and sound) what they wanted, they highlighted different parts of the town drawing a line of their path. The result, and documentation of the practice, is a colored animated drawn map with photos, audios and videos that reflect these kids’ experimentations of their own town.
The motivation: The situationist dérive This project was created by the motivation of practicing the Situationist’s psychogeography and dérive using mobile technology to take notes of it. The idea was to create psychogeography view of Lençóis town. As Guy Debord (1955) states:
“Psychogeography could set for itself the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals… “
In the project the participants practice psychogeography through dérive, a practice encouraged by the Situationists in the 50’s as a way to encounter the urban space and experience it differently from our typically use of the city. As Guy Debord (1958), in “Theory of the Dérive” said, “Dérives involve playful-constructive behavior and awareness of psychogeographical effects, and are thus quite different from the classic notions of journey or stroll.”
The participant of the project wandered around town, alone or in small groups, with this spirit of playfulness and awareness. They stopped their routine to engage on an unexpected discovery of the city, open to new encounters and visualizations.
Map(less) location Lençóis is a small town located in the countryside of Bahia. Different from large cities, it does not have a precise map of its streets available to the public. Even website as GoogleMaps, MapQuest, Yahoo!Local does not have a map of the town. For someone used to living in large cities, a place with no map and no concern for one is unthinkable.
- Karla Schuch Brunet (Spain) Ph.D. in Audiovisual Communication. Masters in Fine Arts
Currently doing a post-doctorate at Cyber Research Group/ UFBA with scholarship from Fapesb (Brazil)
Full text (PDF) p. 78-80