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Psychogeography

Experiment 2: Richard Long

Even if your office is based in a really uninspiring place (and it probably is, they do that on purpose), taking a break time walk will always make you feel better about your shitty job.

And this man – RICHARD LONG – has even made taking a walk into an art:

(Taken from Richard Long: TIME AND SPACE at the Arnolfini, Bristol)

Walking is central to Long’s work as a way of perceiving and recording landscape; early in his career he established the precedent that art could be a journey and that a sculpture could be deconstructed over the distance of a journey. His beguilingly simple works use raw materials such as stones and driftwood, found along the way. These works are often simple interventions, marks of passage. Often these works leave little or no trace and works are documented through photographs or text works that record his ideas, observations and experiences.

“They are a sort of simple celebration of the place, like its stones, or the horizon, or the mist, and of me being there, at that particular time, possibly never to pass that way again. I sometimes think of these works as songs. I have said that a sculpture can be as far as the eye can see, meaning the stones can be aligned to a feature on the horizon, for example, or a passing cloud, at that moment, in relation to the viewer.” Richard Long, 2014

Walking as a medium has enabled the artist to articulate ideas about time and space. He seeks a freedom of movement and expression, and a balance with the natural world though a physical and personal engagement with the land, working with nature to reflect its impermanence and the changing processes of time. These often remote works made in the landscape feed the imagination. In the gallery, sculptures and mud works feed the senses directly.


Some things we have found on walks around our own uninspiring area:

  • The best coffee in the world
  • A park
  • The friendliest corner shop in the world (these are rare)
HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Survival_Techniques_Go_For_A_Walk4
An offer on Stick Insects – 2 for 1 Euro!
HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Survival_Techniques_Go_For_A_Walk3
Breads waiting for adoption
HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Survival_Techniques_Go_For_A_Walk2
An actual Dinosaur
HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Survival_Techniques_Go_For_A_Walk
Awnings
HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_GoForAWalk_pintoresMadrid
Looking for artists in Madrid
HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_GoForAWalk_WeAllFit
We all fit
HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_GoForAWalk1
Our favorite Coffee Shop
A lovely Mediterranean Terrace of one of the houses
A lovely Mediterranean Terrace of one of the houses
HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_GoForAWalk4
A teeny tiny burger
HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_GoForAWalk4
An amazing sunset which makes the tree look like it is fumingly angry!

Even if your office is based in a really uninspiring place (and it probably is, they do that on purpose), taking a break time walk will always make you feel better about your shitty job.

And this man – RICHARD LONG – has even made taking a walk into an art:

(Taken from Richard Long: TIME AND SPACE at the Arnolfini, Bristol)

Walking is central to Long’s work as a way of perceiving and recording landscape; early in his career he established the precedent that art could be a journey and that a sculpture could be deconstructed over the distance of a journey. His beguilingly simple works use raw materials such as stones and driftwood, found along the way. These works are often simple interventions, marks of passage. Often these works leave little or no trace and works are documented through photographs or text works that record his ideas, observations and experiences.

“They are a sort of simple celebration of the place, like its stones, or the horizon, or the mist, and of me being there, at that particular time, possibly never to pass that way again. I sometimes think of these works as songs. I have said that a sculpture can be as far as the eye can see, meaning the stones can be aligned to a feature on the horizon, for example, or a passing cloud, at that moment, in relation to the viewer.” Richard Long, 2014

Walking as a medium has enabled the artist to articulate ideas about time and space. He seeks a freedom of movement and expression, and a balance with the natural world though a physical and personal engagement with the land, working with nature to reflect its impermanence and the changing processes of time. These often remote works made in the landscape feed the imagination. In the gallery, sculptures and mud works feed the senses directly.

Experiment 1: TRAVEL PURSUIT

 

HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Psychogeography2

We set off one fine sunny afternoon for the intersection near our office where three roads meet, as we thought we would find a greater variety of people there.  The first person to take our eye was this girl:

HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Psychogeography (12)

Because she crossed the road in a similarly irresponsible manner to us!  We followed her for what seemed like a really long way: left and right and left and right and left and right:

HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Psychogeography (1) HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Psychogeography (2) HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Psychogeography (3)

Until we arrived at what we assumed was her home:

HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Psychogeography (7) HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Psychogeography (5)

This wasn’t a particularly exciting result, but being our first time we were very excited nonetheless.  From here, we decided to pick someone else.

We saw a guapo wearing a suit and a jaunty red tie who was speaking with an Argentinian accent and decided to follow him, but then we lost him, so picked another goodlooking man who was also wearing a red suit and a tie – what a coincidence.  When we followed the second man around the corner we found him running to catch up with the first man, so we followed them both together – two for the price of one.

They walked really fast so we had to jog after them, past this park with a statue of a bullfighter:

HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Psychogeography (8)HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Psychogeography (9)

Then, incredibly, they led us to the street of shops near our office (we thought we were utterly lost) where we often go at break time.  They turned the corner onto the main street and then … we lost them! We searched the shops and bars but they had dispappeared for good.

We speculated that they may have been estate agents or insurance salesmen, as, well, that’s what their suits made them look like.  So perhaps they had entered a house or business to make a pitch.

We gave them up as lost and sat on a bench until we found someone else interesting.  we chose this older gentlemen because we like his trainers:

HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Psychogeography (10)

We were sure he was going somewhere urgent as he walked with such purpose, so we followed him (much more slowly than the fit young men) until we found ourselves … back were we started!  It appears that this little pocket rocket was just out for some exercise.

More experiments to come…

Psychogeography: The art of navigating the (boring) area around your office – there is whole philosophy around it:

Psychogeography is an approach to geography that emphasizes playfulness and “drifting” around urban environments. It has links to the Situationist International. Psychogeography was defined in 1955 by Guy Debord as “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.” Another definition is “a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities… just about anything that takes pedestrians off their predictable paths and jolts them into a new awareness of the urban landscape.

We love this way of finding interest, beauty and inspiration in the everyday, the unexpected and the mundane, so we employed The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel and started taking psychogeographical trips around the area around our own particular office -which we thought was, as common office areas, lame and boring.

Though these experiments, our greatest discovery was, it was a surprisingly nice area, with tons of places to discover.

HowToSurviveAnOfficeJob_Psychogeography

We have included the hypotheses so you can make the same experiments yourself.

 

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