Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Trainspotting is a form of psychogeography!

No, really, it is.

Robert Wilson's Aberdeen, 1822

I don't want to include too much histobunk in this blog - but this is a doozy!

A sample:

A view from above and from the past

NLS - Ordnance Survey Air Photo Mosaics of Scotland, 1944 - 1950

Old Maps for New Understanding

From The National Libraries of Scotland.

Zoomable clickable interactive map here: Link

Lots more here: Link

Brimmond Hill

Brimmond Hill is within both ancient and modern boundaries of the City of Aberdeen. It's 266m high, and there's a lot of psychogeographical artifacts on the summits.

Somewhere in Aberdeen

The source of a major Aberdeen water course, just south of Hazlehead at an abandoned retail complex - now an ad-hoc nature reserve. Beautiful in the sun.

Psychogeography for Aberdeen.

From Urbansquares Photoblog:
Describing [the] technique and practice of psychogeography requires going back in time to the post second world war years full of enthusiasm for the renewal of humanity and huge step in rejuvenated civilization. It was first described by Guy Debord, writer and philosopher, prominent member of the “Situationist” movement, in 1955 as: “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals“.

It was an aspect of the situationists’ wider drive to achieve a revolutionary transformation of everyday life. They were insisting on pedestrianism to experience astonishment and encrypted events of the city. Most popular technique dérive (drift) was first step toward an urban praxis and psychogeographical articulation of the modern city. Dérive is a stroll through the urban environment usually by group of people with an attempt to understand and interpret [the] complex language of urban space.

Situationist saw in the cities “repressed desires” and a possibility to by turning them around get engaged in a “playful reconstructive behaviour”. They used this tool to expose scandalous poverty of everyday life, [the] contrast of what it could be and what [it] presently is. It was a harsh critique of “our commodified consumer society so that our repressed desires of a more authentic nature could come forward”.

The Alpha Stone

The Alpha Stone is a March Stone, or Boundary Stone which marks the extent of both the inner and outer marches. The Alpha Stone is located at the outfall of the Ferryhill Burn, not far from the Queen Elizabeth Bridge.
It is marked A ABD CR

The Hardgate Well

The Hardgate Well which dates from the 17th century and its commemorative plaque on the "Dubbydykes" section of Aberdeen's historic Hardgate have gone. Obliterated by the new Park Inn hotel development on Justice Mill Lane. The well and plaque told a very important story crucial to the history and character of Aberdeen (both the city and its people), and contributed to the geographical and historical legibility of the city.

Other than a (primary-school friendly) interpretation panel at the Bridge of Dee, this was the only public site in Aberdeen where the Civil War was commemorated in any way.

The wording on the plaque itself was very well considered; providing facts without interpretation, and inviting (by implication) the interested reader to find out more by his or her own initiative.

Will the well and plaque be re-sited? Or are they sitting, significance ignored, in some far-off architectural salvage yard?

I've written to the city archeologist. We'll see what he says...