In Pursuit of Aimlessness: Psychogeographical Encounters in Post-pandemic Environments

Conference: The Barcelona Conference on Arts, Media & Culture (BAMC2021)
Title: In Pursuit of Aimlessness: Psychogeographical Encounters in Post-pandemic Environments
Stream: Arts Practices
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Workshop Presentation
Kyung Hwa Shon, Royal College of Art, United Kingdom
Aleya James, Royal College of Art, United Kingdom


This engaging participatory two-session workshop introduces psychogeography as a pedagogical tool for promoting interdisciplinary practices across the humanities, media and culture using a practice-led creative writing methodology. The outcome of the two workshops and one independently undertaken activity is a simple, practical and effective pedagogical practice that can be used in a range of university, school or museum settings across art, media and cultural contexts.

Workshop 1 introduces the history, and contemporary examples of psychogeography and demonstrates how it has been embedded in a Graduate Diploma in Art and Design at the Royal College of Art, London. The presenters use examples of student work that have emanated from teaching/practice sessions. These evidence the range of practical work and shift of students’ attitude and cognitive approaches after undertaking a psychogeographic walk and creative writing workshop. Participants are then given a practical task to complete individually before Workshop 2. This 45-60 minute independent activity focuses on sensory modes of exploration of the local environment, capturing data such as material objects, sound and photographs. Participants are given a short creative writing task to complete before Workshop 2 in their preferred language and/or English.

Workshop 2 sees participant writings posted on an online platform followed by small group discussion with a two-pronged focus – a sharing of their psychogeographic experiences and the answering of 3 key questions set by the presenters. Participants’ feedback to the larger group results in a collection of pedagogical ideas that participants can experiment within their professional contexts.

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