Psychogeography inaugurated a way of claiming the world back to the body. The concept of la dérive: the “technique of locomotion without a goal”, in which “one or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives for movement drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there”, is nothing other than the tide of the body. La dérive is our ship set loose in the capital’s sea. But drifting is not easy when we know our way in the city well: we tend to walk through the same places, on the same side of the sidewalk, and to seek (sometimes unknowingly) the same references. Hence, Walter Benjamin observed that “to lose one’s way in a city, as one loses one’s way in a forest, requires some schooling”.

Recently, the concept of la dérive acquired a new life through technology. Today’s situationists are app designers that seek to transform cities into forests so we can get lost. In this way, city dwellers can articulate, reconcile with our city in strange and new manners, and feel it, once again, with the tide of the body.

The following are three apps designed to lose ourselves in familiar territories. We must always keep in mind, however, that the optimal way of getting lost is not with a mobile phone in our hands that requires our attention every couple of minutes; but there’s beauty in technology and these apps are a good way of learning how to get lost.

Drift:

By Broken City Lab, Drift guides walkers using “randomly assembled instructions.” Each instruction will ask you to move in one specific direction and, using the compass, to look for something that is usually hidden in your everyday experiences. It shows you graffiti behind vines, for instance, or doors with exceptional etchings that you would normally ignore. This is how Drift “defamiliarizes” your neighborhood and gives you visual signs that will become meaningful in your mind when you think of a specific street.

Serendipitor:

This app is designed to “to introduce small slippages and minor displacements within an otherwise optimized and efficient route.” You only have to introduce a starting point and a destination and it will give you “instructions for action and movement inspired by Fluxus, Vito Acconci, and Yoko Ono, among others.”

Random GPS:

This is a car navigation system that begins to give you directions the moment you turn it on and it cannot be intervened to change its course once it’s been set. Random GPS “takes you around the world as an endless journey, determined randomly, and constantly recalculated.”

Psychogeography inaugurated a way of claiming the world back to the body. The concept of la dérive: the “technique of locomotion without a goal”, in which “one or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives for movement drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there”, is nothing other than the tide of the body. La dérive is our ship set loose in the capital’s sea. But drifting is not easy when we know our way in the city well: we tend to walk through the same places, on the same side of the sidewalk, and to seek (sometimes unknowingly) the same references. Hence, Walter Benjamin observed that “to lose one’s way in a city, as one loses one’s way in a forest, requires some schooling”.

Recently, the concept of la dérive acquired a new life through technology. Today’s situationists are app designers that seek to transform cities into forests so we can get lost. In this way, city dwellers can articulate, reconcile with our city in strange and new manners, and feel it, once again, with the tide of the body.

The following are three apps designed to lose ourselves in familiar territories. We must always keep in mind, however, that the optimal way of getting lost is not with a mobile phone in our hands that requires our attention every couple of minutes; but there’s beauty in technology and these apps are a good way of learning how to get lost.

Drift:

By Broken City Lab, Drift guides walkers using “randomly assembled instructions.” Each instruction will ask you to move in one specific direction and, using the compass, to look for something that is usually hidden in your everyday experiences. It shows you graffiti behind vines, for instance, or doors with exceptional etchings that you would normally ignore. This is how Drift “defamiliarizes” your neighborhood and gives you visual signs that will become meaningful in your mind when you think of a specific street.

Serendipitor:

This app is designed to “to introduce small slippages and minor displacements within an otherwise optimized and efficient route.” You only have to introduce a starting point and a destination and it will give you “instructions for action and movement inspired by Fluxus, Vito Acconci, and Yoko Ono, among others.”

Random GPS:

This is a car navigation system that begins to give you directions the moment you turn it on and it cannot be intervened to change its course once it’s been set. Random GPS “takes you around the world as an endless journey, determined randomly, and constantly recalculated.”

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