Iain Sinclair commented recently on the value of walking and the experience of psychogeography for him - as a means to 'provoke fictions and stories and build up an anthology of the possible....', a process that counters the inert experiences of e.g. people travelling on the public transport system while 'webbed into their electronic gizmos'. Iain Sinclair was moving, bumping and tramping with John McCarthy between some of the churches of Nicholas Hawksmoor in the East End. Their conversation was featured on BBC R4 Saturday Live on 22nd December and there is a very nearly a whole year left to listen to their excursion should you be interested in the veritable and venerable perambulators' fascinating theories on Hawksmoor and urban energies. Just in case you haven't got time to listen (again) to IS and JM this year, Saturday Live is available as a podcast which means it is possible to download that programme and save it for a rainy day much further into the future. You might upload the podcast to an electronic gizmo and listen while out walking or travelling by whatever means you happen to chose.
Field Study's Man in E17 is my imaginary friend who I go out for walks with however sometimes, well usually, he or it does not have a lot to say, so I confess to occassionally webbing myself into an electronic gizmo and nullifying all the fantastic urban energies Walthamstow has to offer most evenings. I did so this evening. When I got home I lamented on the lost opportunity in not using IS and JM as audio companions for my walk. I thought it would have been a nod to Situationist derivation to keep repeating their conversation for the duration of my/our walk in and of the East End and Walthamstow. Surreality might have been experienced had I cut up their conversation and reassembled it in the manner of a surrealist game or as another nod to William Burroughs - walking around E17 consuming some sort of schizoid naked lunch. Another evening may be.
This evening my psychogeographically detatched walk was temporarily interupted when I 'bumped' into a young Italian woman who, with 2 similarly aged companions, approached me just outside the Nags Head and asked if I knew where there are rooms to rent in Walthamstow. I was quite surprised by her question and we struggled to communicate through the language barrier about how to find somewhere to live. I suggested, estate agents, local newspapers, noticeboards and web sites. One of her companions translated as I apologised for not knowing where there is a room to rent. It seemed like quite an odd yet charmingly naive way of going about looking for somewhere to live - just approaching complete strangers in the darkness of an E17 evening. What would you have said to her? Why not, when in Rome or were we in London? I wished her and her companions good luck and we made our separate ways. A little later I wondered if they were actually Italian psychogeography students on a field trip to intervene in and disrupt the isolation of webbed in electronic gizmoism.
I continued my less than imaginative walk plugged into the corporate entertainment machine and here is the playlist for the duration of this evening's walk.
Come With Us - Brian Eno and David Byrne
Computer Love - Kraftwerk
Cos Specjalnego - Novi Singers
Cosmic Carwash - Blectum from Blechdom
Dance Rehearsal - Moondog
Dawn - The Cinematic Orchestra
Piece for Solo Flute - Dead Can Dance and Tangerine Dream
Desert of Ice - Terry Riley
Dirty Harry - Gorillaz
Dissolved Girl - Massive Attack
Dollars and Cents - Radiohead
A Door Opens and Closes - Soft Machine
Druids Circle - John Surman
Eiweib - Schneider
at the end of which I arrived back at my front door. By the way, a new Sue Ryder charity shop is due to open on the High St on 10th January