The internet as a space for psychogeographical projects

The statement is awkward but the idea is to take SI to new turf. Browsing is dérive. Always has been. And crossing spaces has taken on a psychological turn as early as AOL.

The idea of mapping the net has been around from the beginning. But it hasn’t been done. Perhaps because on the internet, the map is the territory. Doesn’t matter because this is psychogeography, not cartography.

The net wasn’t planned. Yet there are planned spaces - walled gardens, facebooks, blogs, googles, institutions, reddits, 4chans, haciendas. There are protocols that define space: ftp, http, https, irc, usenet. Domains. These features make the net a territory for dérive, for mapping.

And then there’s the boredom. Nothing new from the people moving on the net. And the power plays. Institutions attempting to regularize their own spaces and those who pass through. Mediums, twitters. For the sake of quality. For the sake of excitement. Attempts to commodify the streets we travel. Browsing becomes addiction, because a good consumer is goal-oriented. The goal being attention. Pages that pose as apps. Apps as pages. Catalogues and collections: monoskop, tates, libraries, sites of collected lists and forgotten umbrellas.

The drive towards normalization becomes visible with pushback.

Who? Addicts. Specialists. Browsers skilled at dérive. Coasting. Crossing over edges. Ignoring paths. Both of which are difficult in a space defined by edges and nodes. Takes some planning.

And see notes on Rogers, Digital Methods, for psychogeograpy of the web.

Challenges

Keep your head above water. Know a path from a drift, and make it clear. Record the drift.