Psychogeographic Event Guide: Know your city; take a walk

As part of the John Hartman Cities exhibition at the University of Toronto Art Centre at University College, we have organized a collaborative psychogeographic walk and map making party. After a short talk on psychogeography, people will head out in groups, each with a unique algorithm (a simple formula such as: walk two blocks, turn left; walk one block, turn right; walk one block, turn right; repeat) that will randomly guide them through the campus and into the city. After an hour, everyone will return to the gallery and trace their route on a giant Google Earth projection of the area on the paper-covered wall, adding in discovered details and personal landmarks along the way. The result will be one map that depicts a real and imagined Toronto experienced by all participants. This is an open and free event, and there will be a cash bar to help motivate the map making*.

WHAT: Know Your City; Take a Walk

WHERE: University of Toronto Art Centre, 15 King’s College Circle (main floor of Laidlaw wing)

WHEN: Thursday March 6, 7-10pm

Take an hour-long algorithmic walk – where each turn is predetermined by a simple formula, followed by a psychogeographic map making party at the University of Toronto Art Centre (UTAC). Designed by Shawn Micallef, co-founder of the location-based mobile phone documentary project [murmur] that has been set up around Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, San Jose, Edinburgh and Dublin, Ireland.

This psychogeographic walk can be enjoyed by both students and “civilians.” For many students, campus becomes their entire world and many don’t venture into the rest of the city except on a few well-worn paths. For those of us who did not go to U of T, the campus can be a bit of mystery. This walk will hopefully demonstrate how integrated the campus is in the fabric of Toronto, and how intimate (or dramatic) the border between the two can be in places.

Painting by John Hartman, Toronto Harbour Looking East, 2005, oil on linen. Collection of Andrew and Valerie Pringle

*BYOF: In the true spirit of winter psychogeography, bring your own flask filled with warming and restorative fluids for the walk if you want.

6 comments

  1. Are you going to enter the data into OpenStreetMap (openstreetmap.org)?

  2. OpenStreetMap is neat — our map will be way analogue though: crayons and paper. Will need to get a team of interns to do the transcription…..

  3. I would love to go to this event but I can’t make it as my weeknights are always busy. Please hold one on a weekend! You’ll have one participant there guaranteed ;)

  4. (No longer one of the numbered but commentless masses!)

    I just wanted to say that I loved the event. The final map created was a wonderful cross-section of the life of the city.
    And it turns out that my approach to walks (only appreciated by a few patient friends) is essentially psychogeographic; it’s nice to know that others make the effort to appreciate the city in a similar way.

  5. I am intrigued to know more about the work you are doing. I have been working on creating a psychogeography group in Vancouver and am interested the mapping you developed after your walk.

    Regards,

    Rob

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