Picture courtesy of Phil Smith
If you want to know what is Mythogeography, please click here for a brief approach
If you want to read my interview with his mentor, Phil Smith, click here
Now, Phil has released a manifesto for Mythogeography, that clearly explains its principles:
1. Mythogeography is the theorisation of an experimental approach to the site of performance (in its very broadest sense) as a space of multiple layers.
2.Mythogeography is a geography of the body. It means to carry a second head or an appendix organism, multiple viewpoints, to always walk with one’s own hybrid as companion.
3.Mythogeography is a philosophy of perception, always mobile; to ride the senses, as tentacles actively seeking out information, never as passive receptors of it; perceiving not objects, but differences.
4.The space of mythogeography is neither bounded nor sliced by time, but is constituted of trajectories; the places of mythogeography are defined by the reach and roundabouts of their commerce, traffic, interaction and exchange.
5. Mythogeography, as a discipline, leads by its margins, as an exploratory practice it is guided by its periphery.
6. Mythogeography is not a discipline, but a setting of multiple disciplines in orbit about each other; it is not an accumulation, but a description of the relations and trajectories of this multiplicity. Mythogeography is the matrix of these trajectories.
7. Mythogeography mythologises the geographer. The mythologised geographer’s ‘self’ is but one more story, (a very successful story, a super-meme), one more discipline in orbit about the others.
8. Mythogeography arose from a critical engagement with the monolithic, constrained and homogenous bathing of ‘historic’ spaces by the heritage industry and agencies of national and municipal identity-making.
9. Mythogeography opposes the monocular with a mix of influences and strategies, including the atmospheres and effects of psychogeography, the Fortean procession of 'damned data', the deployment (both analogical and direct) of geological, archaeological and historiographical ideas and methods. It is self-reflexive in the sense that it would regard the performer and the activist as similarly multiplicitous sites.
10. Mythogeography has not developed in a vacuum, but as part of a growing practice of disruptions and explorations, including those of neo-romantic and literary anglo-psychogeographers like Alan Moore, performers like Lone Twin, the ambulatory architect-activists of the Stalker group in Rome, urban explorers like the late Ninjalicious and artists of the everyday like Clare Qualmann, Gail Burton and Serena Korda of walkwalkwalk.
11. Borrowing and devising techniques of collection, trespass, observation and a mapping that upsets assumed and functional journeys, deploying the means to heighten or change perception, performativity, embodiment and subversions of official tour guide discourse, mythogeography offers a model which subjects each layer of meaning to a rigorous historiographical, or alternative and appropriate, interrogation, while connecting the diverse layers and exploiting the gaps between them, avoiding a scientific withdrawal, a collapse into a monocular satire or a capitulation to safe and policed forms of eccentricity.
12. Mythogeography practises a ‘hermeneutics of fear’, is nervous about the annihilation of consciousness, adopts a low level paranoia, beginning with, and then testing out, the over-explanation of things.
13. Mythogeography does not discriminate between respectable and non-respectable layers of knowledge, but insists on the presence of popular, trash, pulp layers, and the foregrounding of the mythogeographer’s autobiographical and non-rational associations, elucidating a revealing of reception and, through try-too-hard/over-ideological trash culture, a poetics of the Spectacle.
“what is going on in the lower reaches of society is probably very much more potent and effective than what happens in intellectual circles.” (Ekkehard Hieronimus)
14. Mythogeography studies dynamic forms (the patterns of patterns).
15. The mythogeographical ‘tool kit’ cannot be definitively assembled, is mostly invisible (fanciful, conceptual or microscopic), and banal in its material components.
16. Mytho-geography can be spelt with or without the hyphen, but it is a hyphenated practice.
17. Mythogeography is not a finished model, neither in its theoretical nor practical forms. It is a general approach which emphasises hybridity, but does not attempt to determine what combination of elements might constitute the parts of that hybrid.
18. Mythogeography is an invitation to practise, to share, to connect, but also to take the risk of comparison and to practise implicit and explicit criticism of each other’s practices and theories.