Article summary: Jeff Samsonow

In Honours blog on June 5, 2009 at 6:18 am

Samsonow, Jeff. “Multicoloured Trash Bins and Lost Marbles” City Life,
This is an article by a journalist who takes a psychogeographic tour, and reports on what he notices.

“Adam Waldron-Blain, my guide, admits the idea has an air of pretention about it. “The Situationists who came up with this, especially in its original incarnation — it’s not about taking random groups of people on tours,” he explains. “It’s about ‘I’m an artist so I’m going to drink a lot and wander randomly around the city and that is why I’m an important person.’” (pg. 1)

“We’re told to pay attention to what we see, hear (both near and far), and smell — the kinds of things we tend not to notice while moving from one place to another intent on work, home, meetings,
and parties.” (pg. 1)

The group bumps into a drunk guy with a vacuum cleaner, Samsonow reflects, “had I just been walking through this neighbourhood on my way to work or the busy parking lots of Oliver Square. I would have been out on the sidewalk, and ignorant of all the action in the alley.” (pg. 2)

“Garbage bin colours don’t speak much about how we’ve built our city, nor to where we may be headed. But I still find it telling: if I haven’t noticed such a minor detail before, what else about this city have I failed to notice?” This banal detail about his city is very small, but telling of what a derive hopes to achieve. A heightened awareness of your urban environment, among other things.

  1. I just found your blog (after my latest round of self-Googling) and it’s great to know what I experienced came through in the story. I’m finding my eyes a little more open while wandering the city.

  2. It was good to find a journalist’s interpretation of psychogeography. I’m a journalism student and am going to try and incorporate the theory into a series of podcasts.
    You’ve got to love the information exchange on the web. Thanks for the comment.

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