Sunday, January 1, 2012

Mythogeography: Wanker-Free Drifting

From the "Association for the Liberation of the Lingerer" an advert flyer for Wanker-free "drifting"
Thought you might be interested in whatever it is these psychogeographers get up to these days! Interesting!  Was a little mystified by their vehemence against "moleskins," which, since the writers are clearly Brits of some stripe, I took to mean what we would call "bandaids."  So it MIGHT mean that, or it might mean a kind of new fancy diary/journal/city map/notebook, called "Moleskines."  Sort of like the old Filofaxes were in the 1980's: no self-respecting yuppie would be without one.  I guess either way it makes sense.  They don't want any tender-footed, map-toting, journal-scribbling posers on their "drift." Crazy-ass dudes. HA HA! 
I ask you, is this the modern-day incarnation of Le Flâneur? It would seem so, by their own name: "Association for the Liberation of the Lingerer."  (See a previous post about Flâneur-ism at, and also a recent post on emotion-mapping and psychogeography at
This photo of the flyer is from a book called Mythogeography, by Phil Smith.  I haven't read it as yet. See a short review below.

“...quite possibly the strangest book I have ever read. Partly novel, and partly philosophical treatise, the book is a sort of field guide to exploring and interacting with urban and rural environments. It’s informative and witty, but mostly a celebration of finding, or making, weirdness in the most ordinary (and extraordinary) places. There’s also a manifesto, but as Phil cheerfully admits it’s palpably impossible to follow.”

Here is the author's definition of Mythogeography:
“Mythogeography describes a way of thinking about and visiting places where multiple meanings have been squeezed into a single and restricted meaning (for example, heritage, tourist or leisure sites tend to be presented as just that, when they may also have been homes, jam factories, battlegrounds, lovers' lanes, farms, cemeteries and madhouses). Mythogeography emphasises the multiple nature of places and suggests multiple ways of celebrating, expressing and weaving those places and their multiple meanings.
Mythogeography is influenced by, and draws on, psychogeography – seeking to reconnect with some of its original political edge as well as with its more recent additions. While engaging seriously with academic discourses in areas like geography, tourism studies and spatial theory, mythogeography also draws upon what Charles Fort might have described as ‘the procession of damned data’. So, occulted and anomalous narratives are among those available to mythogeography, not as ends in themselves, but as means and metaphors to explain, engage and disrupt.”
 Mythotour of the Royal William Victualling Yard In Plymouth, England. "Beer, Beef, and Royal Steps"
I like the way he calls this a "Twalk," cleverly combining Talk and Walk.  They are nothing if not clever, these Mythogeographers! (no, I am NOT being snarky, I MEAN it!) 


  1. "Moleskines" sort of sounded familiar as a kind of fancy notebook, and sure enough: "Moleskine® is a brand that identifies a family of notebooks, diaries, and city guides..." per the website "" and a simple Google search.

    I don't think that they're all that new, and in the flyer's context it makes much more sense than a bandaid.

  2. Thanks for your comment, EclecticIce. Yes, I Googled "Moleskine," too, before I wrote the post. But when I first read the flyer, moleskins (as in bandaids) was the first thing that entered my mind. I figured it was natural that they wanted "real" walkers and not someone who was unused to hard walking and would get blisters on their feet, requiring bandaids! Strange how the mind works, huh? I don't know about the longevity of the Moleskines brand, but obviously they must be much more popular and well-known in the UK than in the US, since they were referenced in the flyer in the same breath as "Audis." But, I had never heard of them before my Google search, and certainly would never think of putting their name on a flyer, if I wanted it to be readily understood by readers in the US culture, who would be just as mystified as I was to read it. So in that sense, they were new to me. But I'm sure you're correct about the intended meaning of "Moleskines" on the flyer, although who knows what makes sense to the Mytho-geographers!

  3. Please pardon this intrusion. Given your interest in mythogeography you might be interested to know that my new book ‘On Walking’ (and accompanying essay ‘Enchanted Things’) is now available from Triarchy Press:
    “this book is an exemplary walk, a case study - encompassing situationists, alchemy, jouissance, dancing, geology, psychogeography, 20th century cinema and old TV, performance, architecture, the nature of grief, pilgrimage, the Cold War, Uzumaki, pub conversations, synchronicity, somatics and the Underchalk.”
    With best wishes,
    Phil Smith