Recorridos, Intervenciones y Situaciones

Urban Meanderthals and the City of “Desire Lines”

Posted by Canto Rodado on April 25, 2012

The avoidance of pedlock and gridlock, then, induces another breed of flâneur, with an alternative form of desire path, one resulting not from the pedestrian’s unselfconscious obliviousness to the environment, but from a precipitously induced hyper-awareness. The resulting secondary desire paths adopted by those who are suddenly diverted from their trajectories are, indeed, not aimless but forced re-adjustments; the intentions of the pedestrian are redirected as a result of their objectives being obstructed. What results, I’d like to suggest, is yet another breed of flâneur. This one we might call: Flâneur 2.0.

For this new breed of Flâneur the hustle and bustle of the crowd is not to be observed at leisure, but to be avoided. The goal is not to aestheticize urban life while absorbing it, but to instrumentalize it while attempting to direct it in the name of efficiency and speed. The crowd is not to be followed but to be deliberately avoided, the urban grid of everyday life is not to be re-inscribed but to be exceeded.

Flâneur 2.0, no longer self-consciously critical of the techno-urban imperatives that morph around him, no longer taking a derive or deviation for its own sake, finds herself unwillingly and unwittingly having to smooth out the striated grid. Driven by invisible economic imperatives (imperatives that constitute the fish-bowl he swims in), Flâneur 2.0 is thrust kicking and screaming — sometimes literally — out of his habitual orbit by the Meanderthal. Nonetheless, though briefly discombobulated, Flâneur 2.0 quickly gets re-oriented, re-doubling his/her efforts for the sake of efficiency, mobility, speed, and capital. The phrase quoted at the beginning of this paper — “Down with Dawdling!” — undoubtedly had a certain currency in Walter Benjamin’s day. But the man who first uttered it could not have imagined that it would persist, nor what it would come to mean in the age of the Meanderthal.



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Dérive – drifting

Posted by Canto Rodado on April 14, 2012

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Psychogeographic Map

Posted by Canto Rodado on April 13, 2012

Psychogeographic Map of NYC for Situationist International Graduate Class

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Psychogeography: The Landscapes of Memory

Posted by Canto Rodado on April 12, 2012

Act as though, for instance, you were a traveler sitting next to the window of a railway carriage and describing to someone outside the carriage the changing views which you see outside.
-Freud describing free association, SE 12, p.135

Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey,” Elizabeth Bishop’s “Brazil,” Beethoven’s “Pastorale,” and Berlioz’s “Night on Bald Mountain”—landscape and the sense of place are instrumental in both aesthetic and imaginative experience, and to every person’s sense of self. This discussion will explore some of the ways that human memory and meaning are influenced by the features of the world that surround us, and how they offer the imagination streams of metaphor as well as sources of awe and inspiration, a mirror for the strangeness of existence, and a measure of the scales of being, both infinite (the grandeur of mountains) and infinitesimal (the ecosystem of an anthill). Psychogeography—the impact of landscape on the senses and on memory—will be considered from literary, child developmental, and neurological perspectives. The discussion will make specific reference to the changes of scene brought on by immigration and urbanization, in addition to addressing nostalgia for simpler modes of existence.

Participants: André Aciman, Vito Acconci, Russell Epstein, Matthew von Unwerth (moderator)   Mayo 31, 2008
Place, Imagination and Identity

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Situationist International – 1

Posted by Canto Rodado on April 11, 2012

Un documental introductorio:

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Videos Situacionistas

Posted by Canto Rodado on January 12, 2008


Toda la vida de las sociedades en las que dominan las condiciones modernas de producción se presenta como una inmensa acumulación de espectáculos. Todo lo que era vivido directamente se aparta en una representación.


Las imágenes que se han desprendido de cada aspecto de la vida se fusionan en un curso común, donde la unidad de esta vida ya no puede ser restablecida. La realidad considerada parcialmente se despliega en su propia unidad general en tanto que seudo-mundo aparte, objeto de mera contemplación. La especialización de las imágenes del mundo se encuentra, consumada, en el mundo de la imagen hecha autónoma, donde el mentiroso se miente a sí mismo. El espectáculo en general, como inversión concreta de la vida, es el movimiento autónomo de lo no-viviente.

La Sociedad del espectáculo

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Narrative Archaeology

Posted by Canto Rodado on September 25, 2006

A fictional narrative is an agitated space.  A story world is constructed with attention to selection of detail and level of its description (setting and its establishment of tone, subtext and above all, physical place).  The traditional role of the author has been to carefully use these tools to create the other world.  The city is also an agitated space.  A city  is a collection of data and sub-text to be read in the context of ethnography,  history, semiotics, architectural patterns and forms, physical form and rhythm, juxtaposition, city planning, land usage shifts and other ways of interpretation and analysis. The city patterns can be equated to the patterns within literature: repetition, sub-text shift, metaphor, cumulative resonances, emergence of layers, decay and growth.

The city is rich with layered semiotic  systems on even a cursory, immediate reading.

There is at present a dual city to be read, the denotative and connotative city, if you will.  The city exists to navigate and “read” on a literal level of interpretation of architecture, shifts, movement, traces of past and the patterns that form as one walks through the city.  This is the denotative city.  The author utilizing the concepts and form of narrative archaeology can form a reading of the second city (the connotative city or semiotically charged) with points in street layout pinpointed to address the resonance of multiple readings and resonances of buildings, street signs, navigation, infrastructure.
Narrative Archaeology

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Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Posted by Canto Rodado on August 23, 2006

“El ritmo del andar genera un tipo de ritmo del pensar y el pasaje por un paisaje refleja o estimula el pasaje a través de una serie de pensamientos. Esto produce una singular consonancia entre un pasaje interno y uno externo, que sugiere que la mente es un paisaje dentro de otros y que el andar es un modo de atravesarlo. Un nuevo pensamiento aparece como una característica del paisaje, como si el pensar fuera más un viajar que un hacer.”


Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking (Reseña)

“In the late 20th century, this connection is still asserted: the French structuralist Jean-Christophe Bailly has spoken of a generative grammar of the legs (grammaire generative des jambes), while his compatriot Michel de Certeau believes that: “The act of walking is to the urban system what the speech act is to language.” Just as the woods and hills are best explored, and their mysteries penetrated, by foot, so too are the streets and enclaves of the city.

Solnit distinguishes between the tradition of peripatetic meditation in enclosed spaces, exemplified by the Greek sophists and the later monastic tradition, with that of the unbounded walk which, like life itself, has no pre-determined pattern or teleology. It is the latter kind of walking which is the principal subject of this book, inspired by Thoreau’s belief that, “When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and the woods: what would become of us, if we only walked in a garden or a mall?” Modern mall-walkers might profitably ask themselves the same question.”

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Geografía Urbana Viva

Posted by Canto Rodado on August 22, 2006


Vladimir Melo Moreno


Vladimir Melo Moreno










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Situationist Manifesto

Posted by Canto Rodado on August 9, 2006

THE EXISTING FRAMEWORK cannot subdue the new human force that is increasing day by day alongside the irresistible development of technology and the dissatisfaction of its possible uses in our senseless social life.

Alienation and oppression in this society cannot be distributed amongst a range of variants, but only rejected en bloc with this very society. All real progress has clearly been suspended until the revolutionary solution of the present multiform crisis…”

“…The church has already burnt the so-called witches to repress the primitive ludic tendencies conserved in popular festivities. Under the existing dominant society, which produces the miserable pseudo-games of non-participation, a true artistic activity is necessarily classed as criminality. It is semi-clandestine. It appears in the form of scandal.

So what really is the situation? It’s the realization of a better game, which more exactly is provoked by the human presence. The revolutionary gamesters of all countries can be united in the S.I. to commence the emergence from the prehistory of daily life.

Henceforth, we propose an autonomous organization of the producers of the new culture, independent of the political and union organizations which currently exist, as we dispute their capacity to organize anything other than the management of that which already exists…”


What would be the principle characteristics of the new culture and how would it compare with ancient art?

Against the spectacle, the realized situationist culture introduces total participation.

Against preserved art, it is the organization of the directly lived moment.

Against particularized art, it will be a global practice with a bearing, each moment, on all the usable elements. Naturally this would tend to collective production which would be without doubt anonymous (at least to the extent where the works are no longer stocked as commodities, this culture will not be dominated by the need to leave traces.) The minimum proposals of these experiences will be a revolution in behavior and a dynamic unitary urbanism capable of extension to the entire planet, and of being further extensible to all habitable planets.

Against unilateral art, situationist culture will be an art of dialogue, an art of interaction. Today artists – with all culture visible – have been completely separated from society, just as they are separated from each other by competition. But faced with this impasse of capitalism, art has remained essentially unilateral in response. This enclosed era of primitivism must be superseded by complete communication.

At a higher stage, everyone will become an artist, i.e., inseparably a producer-consumer of total culture creation, which will help the rapid dissolution of the linear criteria of novelty. Everyone will be a situationist so to speak, with a multidimensional inflation of tendencies, experiences, or radically different “schools” – not successively, but simultaneously….”

“… We will inaugurate what will historically be the last of the crafts. The role of amateur-professional situationist – of anti-specialist – is again a specialization up to the point of economic and mental abundance, when everyone becomes an “artist,” in the sense that the artists have not attained the construction of their own life. However, the last craft of history is so close to the society without a permanent division of labor, that when it appeared amongst the S.I., its status as a craft was generally denied….”

17 May 1960

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