Posts filed under ‘About zedding’

In which Marie begins her own adventure

by Marie

You may have noticed that the zedders have not been out very much of late.  No journey lasts forever, we have been having our own separate adventures which leave little time for visiting random locations. As this is the case, we probably won’t be picking up our A to Zs in the near future.

I’d just like to say thank you for reading, and for all your lovely feedback and encouragement. I’ve really enjoyed zedding; the city has been kind, you’ve been a wonderful audience and Liam was a worthy fellow adventurer. I’m venturing off the map and into unknown territory, I would like to share with you things I have Seen in the street. Come with me if you like…

October 27, 2010 at 9:55 pm Leave a comment

Iain Sinclair

By Liam

Iain Sinclair

Iain Sinclair

The writer and film-maker Iain Sinclair is, like us, a fan of walking in cities. With books like London Orbital, he’s brought a literary kind of  psychogeography to a wide audience. (Although he’s uncomfortable with the term psychogeography – he’s talked instead about ‘deep topographies’, which is a lovely idea – exploring the shapes and patterns hidden beneath what we can see.)

Anyway, we’ve had a couple of chances recently to hear more about his work. Firstly, he  came and explored Manchester. For a special feature in Corridor 8 magazine, he did a walk from Urbis to the airport – covering some of the same ground as the Manchester Sunrise walk we took part in. You can now download an MP3 and printable guide from the Urbis website – Listening for the Corncrake – and do the same walk he did. I particularly like the fact that there’s a children’s version of the map, with psychogeographical colouring activities.

I got to go along to the launch of the magazine and hear him talk about the walk, which was great. A different kind of approach from ours, laden with references to art, history and literature. As a Brummie who’s enjoying getting to know Manchester, it was good to hear another outsider’s view. (Sinclair is very strongly associated with London, particularly Hackney where he’s lived for decades.) And a lot of Manchester’s other urban ramblers were there in the audience too.

Then Marie and I both got to see him at the Greenbelt festival, in conversation with John Davies, the vicar who walked the M62. (There was a nice psychogeographical theme at the festival – Jon Bounds gave a couple of talks on why Birmingham isn’t shit and the 11:11:11 psychogeographical bus journey. We enjoyed his celebration of the crap, the mundane and the everyday.)

The conversation was really interesting, picking up strongly on the ways that walking and exploring can be a spiritual, transcendental experience. In a nice contrast with our attempts to get lost in new places, Sinclair does the same walk through the area around his home every day. He had some interesting things to say about it:

‘Simply by doing exactly the same walk every day my radar bumping off things confirms my own identity, and if something’s changed then I change with it. And also your whole body, all the molecules, are shaken up a little and doing that same walk every single day, quite briskly, really does clear my head, allows the night’s dreams and things to settle, prepares you for the writing of the day, and so in a sense I do regard it as a kind of walking meditation, as a kind of reconnection with London in every sense. Practically it might be thought to be be boring because you’re seeing the same thing every day but actually it is the everyday becoming transcendent in a very simple way.’

Good stuff. You can download the conversation from the Greenbelt website (together with another talk he gave about London Orbital), and it’s certainly inspired me to go away and read some of his books.

September 9, 2009 at 10:43 pm 1 comment

Fifteen minutes of fame?

Sitting at home recovering from doing half of Manchester Sunrise (proper blog about that later in the week), and found out to my delight that we’ve made it into the pages of the New Statesman. Looks like we’ll get a mention in a book too.

I particularly like this comment about online psychogeographers: ‘these bloggers tend to be collaborative and tentative, more willing to explore mundanity for its own sake. For them, the city does not yield up its psychogeographic secrets readily; sometimes a bus shelter is just a bus shelter, not a site of ancient or occult significance.’ 

Amen to that.


April 19, 2009 at 12:37 pm Leave a comment

The mother of zedding’s handy tips

By Liam

As we mentioned at some point before, Rosie the inventor of Zedding has been getting students to do random urban wanders.

She prepared a nice set of questions which kind of sum up the stuff we look for when zedding:

  • How do people use public space in the city?
  • Who is present or absent?
  • How do the different urban spaces make you feel?
  • What messages are present? (e.g. graffiti/advertising/political debate)
  • Are there any signs of ‘sacred space’?
  • What was the most surprising thing you saw or heard?
  • Did anything make you laugh?
  • What was the strangest conversation you had or overheard?

July 12, 2008 at 6:22 pm 1 comment

Another psychogeographer

By Liam

Just been pointed to another blogging psychogeographer: London Cross.

This guy’s describing a walk across London in two big straight lines. Similar idea to zedding, I think. He wants to make it a book too – maybe we should be talking to publishers about this blog…

April 29, 2008 at 10:54 am Leave a comment

Zedding is an academic discipline!

By Liam

After zedding Boggart Hole Clough, we discovered that another person, oddly enough, had done a similar exploration just a few weeks before.

John Davies, a vicar from Liverpool, spent two months walking the M62 corridor and blogging about it. He’s now publishing it as a book. Like us, he spent a day fruitlessly searching for boggarts.

Now this is odd enough, but it then turns out that the guy is a supporter of CAP (who I work for). I saw him speak at an event back in February, looked him up afterwards and made the link. Then I met him again today at an event in Manchester. 

I got talking to him about boggarts and tried to explain about zedding. (Figuring that anyone crazy enough to walk the M62 corridor and turn it into a book might just get it.) And he told me that there are people who do this kind of thing and treat it as situationist art, or an academic discipline. It’s called psychogeography.

Wkipedia says psychogeography is:

‘the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals’ or ‘a slightly stuffy term that’s been applied to a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities. Psychogeography includes just about anything that takes pedestrians off their predictable paths and jolts them into a new awareness of the urban landscape.’

Zedding is essentially a dérive (drift): ‘an aimless walk, probably through city streets, that follows the whim of the moment’. We are walking in the footsteps of the Dadaists, the Sitiuationists and Baudelaire! Psychogeography is also ‘an art of conversation and drunkenness’, which fits zedding pretty much perfectly.

Anyway, Manchester seems to be a pretty big centre for psychogeography. There used to be a psychogeography society here, who apparently once levitated the corn exchange. (Can’t find a live web link for that, but would love to know more…)

And this summer they’re having a psychogeography conference at the university: TRIP 2008! I am so tempted to go…

Psychogeographic Map


April 25, 2008 at 4:50 pm 1 comment

Running Total

135 squares

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