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Mapping & psychogeography

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  1. Mapping &psychogeography Assignment 3

  2. “A cornucopia of images, bewildering in their variety: this is the world of maps. Sticks and stones, parchment and gold leaf, paper and ink…frame an image of the world we live in. Like the birds and bees we have danced them in the gestures of our living; since the birth of language we have sketched them in the sounds of our speech. We have drawn them in the air and traced them in the snow, painted them on rocks and inscribed them on the bones of mammoths. We have baked them in clay and chased them in silver… Most of them are gone now, billions lost in the making…The incoming tide has smoothed the sand… Pigments have faded, the paper has rotted…consumed in flames. Many simply cannot be found. They are crammed into the backs of kitchen drawers and glove compartments or mucked up beneath the seats with the Kentucky Fried Chicken boxes and the paper cups. Where have all the road maps gone: and the worlds they described and the kids we knew, Route 66, and the canyon beneath Lake Powell, and the old Colorado pouring real water into the Gulf of Mexico? And when we talk of the ‘old map of Europe’—which too has disappeared—we are speaking of certainties we grew up with, not a piece of paper. And yet…it is hard, in the end, to separate those certainties from that very piece of paper which not only described the world, but endowed it with a reality we have all accepted.”Denis Wood, The Power of Maps, (New York and London: The Guilford Press, 1992), p. 4.

  3. For this assignment, think about: • Mapping things that may normally remain invisible • Expanding the understandings of the sublties of a geographic space • the psychological and sociological understandings of space

  4. Walking- The drift/derive

  5. “In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there. Chance is a less important factor in this activity than one might think: from a dérive point of view cities have psychogeographical contours, with constant currents, fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones. “ • -Guy Debord • Full text here: •

  6. Brainstorming • -Go for a Derive- a walk without destination. • Take notes, photos, or voice record what you experience, smell, taste on the walk. • You can use this for your project if you like, but this is mostly a head-clearing exercise to help you brainstorm.

  7. The sidewalk on Calvert Street from Lanvale to Pleasant street, March 27, 2013 • There is gum, embedded and black every few feet • The sidewalk touches the side of rowhomes boarded up stretching to Mt. Royal and the sun is hitting everything in late afternoon light. • The gutters are destinations for fast food waste and cigarette butts. • Several spots, in the beginning, further north, are patched with asphalt. • Beyond Mt. Royal the sidewalk is much cleaner, there are more cars on the street and the sidewalk bumps against hundreds of clean marble steps leading into homes, leading into law offices and doctors’ offices, and apartments. • Now, there is a spiral jetty shaped stain in front of a bus bench, dried sugary something covered in dirt. Just a few feet away mysterious numbers are spray painted in a faded neon orange that are marking something to someone- this spot is significant. • Large concrete rectangles abruptly transition to small red square bricks and the sidewalk crosses several parking garages. • There is less and less light on the sidewalk, more and more feet moving across- the brick stretching to the doors of delis and more doctor’s offices.

  8. Names of cities, highways, land, water, parks If you do not know Baltimore, what does this map tell you about it?

  9. Take the walk yourself in Google Street View with this link:

  10. So here we are at Lanvale and Calvert streets. What information can Street View offer that is different than just looking at a map on Google Maps? How is the information about the sidewalks different? What can you learn about the psychogeography of a place from all 3 of these?

  11. Denis Wood- “Streets”

  12. Denis Woods- “Hills”

  13. Denis Wood- “Lights”

  14. Denis Wood- “Signs” A pdf from Wood’s book, “Everything Sings” including writings about these maps is available on the class website. It’s definitely worth a look!

  15. Student work

  16. “I’m calling this project ‘A bizzare map of an Irish pub conjoined with a coffee house’.  It is based on the place where I work, which is very unique. I focused on the people of the establishment and their actions, specifically misbehaving. I wanted the colors to be loud and lines to be busy in order to convey a high energy mood.  To research I looked at the building structure on google maps for a birds eye view. I also took notes at work of specific movements and actions of customers and employees. I watched the patterns of walking, where people went and in what order they traveled around. I also watched for the more interesting actions of my coworkers. “ • -ChelseaDobert-Kehn

  17. “I titled my map “Tourons of the Historic Triangle,”  a mixture of “tourist” and “moron” that I am sure more than my dad uses.  The Historic Triangle consists of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, and Historic Yorktown.  I live in Williamsburg, and have traveled the 20 minutes to each of the others many times over the course of my life. • I wanted to make my map following the typical tourist family that comes to visit us.  There are many other attractions that I didn’t name, but I chose ones that my dad and I always make fun of.  The people who visit go the wrong directions, ask stupid questions, and think they are each doing something unique and funny, when really, they are probably about the 3 millionth person to make the same joke since these monuments were created.  I wanted a chance to convey those idiotic things that the tourists do, maybe unknowingly, so that other people who understand get the hilariousness, and others who have not been to Williamsburg an idea of what goes on from the view of a resident.” • -April Cross

  18. “While living in Copenhagen I was very aware of the different neighborhoods I would go to, I could feel and see the differences between them. As I became more familiar with the area I came to know the stereotypes of the people who lived in these places. I thought it would be interesting to define the different parts of the city not by name or landmark but by the kind of people you could find there.” • -Emily Calley