Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Sunday, April 4, 2010

What is Mythogeography?

Batik/photo montage of textures from a drift in Newton Abbot.
Created by Batman Berlin, Robin Paris and Joker London.
With thanks for the photo to Terry Bannon. Image from

In the words of Phil Smith:
¨Psychogeography is the study of how places affect the psychological states of those who pass through them. With a reciprocal meaning: that the places might be changed in order to alter the experiences and mental states of their residents and visitors. This was part of a theory of radical activism for the transformation of cities through the creation of exemplary ways of living (“situations”). In the United Kingdom the concept of Psychogeography has become somewhat detached from its original activist and unitary-urbanist meanings and reconfigured as a literary practice in the work of writers like Iain Sinclair. It has also gathered some occult trappings during this time from Sinclair, Peter Ackroyd, the graphic novelist Alan Moore and others.
Mythogeography describes a way of thinking about, passing through and using those places where multiple meanings have been squeezed into a single or restricted meaning (for example, heritage, tourist or leisure sites that are often presented in a singular and privileged way, when they may also be (or have been) homes, jam factories, battlegrounds, lovers' lanes, farms, cemeteries or madhouses). Mythogeography emphasizes the multiple nature of such places and suggests multiple ways of celebrating, expressing and weaving those places and their many 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 occult and literary 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’ and unrespectable discourses that it may use for metaphorical or literal explanation. So, occulted and anomalous narratives are among those available to Mythogeography, rarely as ends in themselves, mostly as means and metaphors to explain, engage and disrupt.
The term “Mythogeography” arose from the work of Wrights & Sites (a group of site-specific performance makers based in Exeter, UK).¨

To learn much more about Mythogeography, read my interview to Phil Smith in this link:

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