A brand new e-book from the College of Huddersfield’s Dr Alex Bridger offers political methods during which to contemplate how the strategy of psychogeography can be utilized to critique the modern world and to discover the interface of human beings with their environments.
Dr Bridger, a Senior Lecturer in Vital Social Psychology, has simply launched ‘Psychogeography and Psychology: In and Past the Self-discipline’, a summation of 20 years of curiosity within the topic but additionally a piece that has developed to agitate future concepts for analysis and writing.
Alex studied for a PhD within the early 2000s however studying ‘The Most Radical Gesture: The Situationist Worldwide in a PostModern Age’ by Sadie Plant, a examine of the Situationist motion, was a lightbulb second for him.
It flipped my head when it comes to pondering politically concerning the world. The Situationist Worldwide produced quite a lot of essential revolutionary concepts from the late Nineteen Fifties to the early Seventies. One of many practices that they used to do could be to stroll round cities corresponding to Paris and London, documenting and observing the altering type of such city environments with a view to critiquing the capitalist order of issues. They argued for a revolution of on a regular basis life.”
Dr Alex Bridger, Senior Lecturer in Vital Social Psychology, College of Huddersfield
“I believed it was attention-grabbing how they documented what they skilled each politically and reflectively, strolling via completely different locations and areas and making an attempt to make sense of and critique capitalism, city areas and locations.”
Studying Plant’s e-book coincided with the aftermath of the occasions of September 11 2001, prompting Alex to contemplate the right way to analyse the phrases, photographs and video footage of the occasions of that day and their impression.
“I used to be very within the repetitive photographs of the planes going into the buildings. How might I analyse that as a textual content, and will or not it’s understood politically and critically?” he asks.
“I then checked out additional media representations of 9/11 and the aftermath after which how the occasions had been remembered one yr and 5 years after the assaults. My authentic doctorate was targeted fairly broadly on the examine of how political rhetoric will be represented by way of completely different mediums and I used to be initially going to analyse political speeches, songs, artwork and poetry. I used to be involved in constructions of language, energy and fact claims and the way such language will be represented in quite a lot of other ways from speak and textual content to photographs, place and sound.
“My introduction level for the PhD was to interpret and deconstruct the phrases and pictures used to characterize the occasions of September 11 and the aftermath. I used to be notably involved in how the UK mass media reported the occasions and the way politicians and world leaders accounted for what had occurred.
“There was quite a lot of dialogue within the media and by world leaders after 9/11 about ‘searching down and punishing the terrorists’, that ‘freedom and worry had been at battle’ and references to the ‘axis of evil’. I used to be involved with the naturalised use of language to debate the menace and the way teams of individuals had been positioned into binary classes of ‘us’ versus ‘them’.
“A yr and a half into the PhD, I needed to conceptualise the right way to examine the bodily area of Floor Zero, and the right way to go about doing that from my place as a researcher with my background in analysis strategies and as a important psychologist. There wasn’t a lot work in psychology with a selected ‘spatial’ focus, so I turned to a few of the work from the situationists on psychogeography after which conceptualised a walking-based methodology to discover Floor Zero.
“The Situationist apply of psychogeography led me to attract on features of that work to tell my very own challenge at Manchester’s Arndale Purchasing Centre, which was the goal of an IRA bomb in 1996. Elements of the Arndale Centre had been wrecked by the bomb, however the crimson submit field survived unscathed from the assaults.
“I drew on the Arndale Centre psychogeography challenge as a method to work out what a psychogeographical psychological technique might appear like after which I used that examine to tell the later psychogeography challenge on the website of the World Commerce Centre assaults in New York.”
Alex provides. “I had to consider the right way to current the Arndale Centre and Floor Zero psychogeography initiatives in an academically appropriate means however that will additionally advance walking-based strategies in and past psychology.”
That strategy has remained with Alex, whom can also be one of many co-founders of the 4th World Congress of Psychogeography, an annual competition and convention which takes place in Huddersfield . He’s additionally affiliated with different psychogeographical teams such because the Leeds Psychogeography Group the Loiterers Resistance Motion and the Huddersfield Psychogeographical Community.
He admits that his e-book has turn out to be one thing fairly completely different to his authentic concept, rising into a really completely different world in comparison with the one from when he started to jot down it.
“Within the e-book, there’s additionally a brief play which is broadly based mostly on JG Ballard’s e-book ‘Concrete Island ‘, however which strikes past the unique story when it comes to rewriting the story as a ‘submit’ situationist evaluation of the present shopper capitalist order of issues. The play is supposed to be not solely political and important but additionally entertaining and humorous, as was the case with a lot of the work produced by the situationists.
“The e-book was going initially going to be based mostly primarily on my PhD work however throughout the technique of writing it, I made a decision to incorporate new content material and analysis that I used to be engaged on while engaged on the e-book which included writings on wargaming, playwriting and group-based initiatives in and round Huddersfield and native areas.
“I would add that now I think about psychogeography to be rather more than based mostly on strolling strategies however moderately that it’s a means of seeing the world. It may be of worth not solely to college students and researchers in psychology, but additionally in lots of topics corresponding to geography, structure, artwork and design in addition to activists, different artists and most of the people.”
Bridger, A. J (2022) Psychogeography and Psychology. doi.org/10.4324/9781315648095