The Psychogeography of Libraries

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Information about The Psychogeography of Libraries
Education

Published on March 6, 2014

Author: djp

Source: slideshare.net

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Psychogeography of libraries, learning and curiosity. How Psychogeography can help in learning, libraries and information literacy

+ Beating the Bounds The Psychogeography of Libraries

“the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment,… …consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals“ Guy Debord Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography. Les Lèvres Nues #6 (Paris, September 1955).

+ Half of Berlin only exits in the imagination of the GDR http://www.zlb.de The Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin (ZLB)

Snowball fight (detail), c. 1500, from the Walters Art Museum In the ancient custom of ‘Beating the Bounds’ villagers would walk the boundaries of their parish - sometimes taking days to circumnavigate – and in doing so they would reaffirm the extent of their territory, their knowledge of the land and its markers. Passing down folk memories to younger generations and confirming understanding.

Based upon Harry Beck’s Underground Map 1933 http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/travel/downloads/tube_map.html

intricate drawings in which a tangle of words and symbols make up a landscape of complex hidden meanings and wider contradictions - but also offer connections and intersections to the curious… Simon Patterson’s The Great Bear 1992

Cognitive science shows that we think through narrative frames to process the complexity of the world, maps, art and libraries help us build this narrative… Universities are abundant with psychogeographical meaning. The open spaces, courtyards, the names of buildings, the ever changing campus estate, architectural textures, the flows of people, the hierarchies, rituals, academies and signs and symbols all rich with the prospect of discovery and exploration and the unknown. Increasingly this space is also digital. We curate our physical and digital selves.

+ ‘Students that engage with psychogeography and urban walking (or an online derive) find it an enlightening, creative and educational experience that rouses their interest in new fields and engenders new modes for expressing them.’ Tina Richardson University of Leeds Learning Space: Psychogeography as an Educational and Creative Tool Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference 2011

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Oblique Strategies text by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt http://stoney.sb.org/eno/oblique.html

+ http://deriveapp.com Random walks, chance encounters, city exploratory,

+ Steinbeck tries to buy something in a city that he thinks it doesn’t have. When one shop owner doesn’t have it he asks where else may. A wild goose chase ensues, making him see a destination differently from a planned series of sights. Steinbeck ‘Travels with Charley’

By intensifying and sharpening your perceptions - see what’s behind the scenes, outside the site, just offstage. By blowing apart the homogenous heritage story to uncover, the multiplicity of stories. By changing the kind of tourist you are. By making tiny or dramatic interventions, and then moving on. http://www.countertourism.net Next time you go to the supermarket, visit it as if it were an enormous museum artefact from a post-apocalyptic civilisation.

Living with libraries and information requires a mastery of existential skills; uncertainty, allowing for not knowing, mystery, ambiguity and delightful surprise, curiosity, agility of thought and capacity. An embracing of that moment of noise and signal, occasional clarity, line and loop, journey and destination. Cognitive science shows that we think through narrative frames to process the complexity of the world, maps, art and libraries help us build this narrative… Only connect and decode. .. Digital and Information Literacy requires – no, insists - on these existential skills…

+ Beating the Bounds The Psychogeography of Libraries

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