Mobility is intrinsic to the quality of life experienced in cities. Urban Drift is the lab conceived by the Portuguese team of youth workers coordinated by Casa da Imagem Fundação Manuel Leão. During the 8 hours of practice, divided in 4 modules, educators invite the group to use different methodologies such as multisensory approach, audio-visual production, drawing, and documentation with technological tools.
The aim is to raise questions on mobility, shaping a psychogeographical path of their city or their neighbourhood, using the Situationist methods of drift (dérive) and deflection (détournement) associated with contemporary artistic practices.
Here below, we collected some feedback after the piloting, in order to give an idea of the experience you can live, reproposing it in the place you inhabit.
The youth workers’ point of view
« It is important to discuss with the group the specific issues in sustainable mobility in the city or neighbourhood where the session is taking place.
The main tools used in this module are derived from the artistic practices of urban exploration by the International Situationist. The references expand chronologically from the 1920’s to today, and from the visual arts to sociology, political thinking and action, geography and urban planning. This is the background of connected dots that informs the practical activities. »
« The sound that surrounds us is a constant presence. This workshop proposed to bring the ideas/memories of sounds that we hear every day, projecting them collectively in conventional and unconventional musical objects. The objective was to create a composition/collective idea about these sounds, focusing on the slow gesture and attentive listening.
In a dark, silent space and a dim light on the instruments/objects. »
« The pop up lab focuses essentially on creating a deeper awareness on how we view and navigate through our surroundings, with a special approach on multisensory and artistic practice, applying what is done in the workshop to our daily lives.
By raising questions about how the participants got to the workshop, what difficulties they encountered, etc. slowly helps them not only becoming more comfortable with the Youth Workers but also being more attentive and sensitive to the following exercises.
It will eventually come to a point where they have to navigate through each other and negotiate the space. »
« A more focused/intimate observation was experienced by the participants, which gave primacy to seeing and hearing trivial and routine details of the urban space, which, when shown in isolation, raised awareness of the practice of gentle sustainable mobility, through walking, as a new way of looking at the city and discover situations in it, influence states of mind, open doors to efabulation…
This promotes sustainable mobility, not as a route to be taken with the objective of being fast and with a goal, but as a conciliatory action, the need to travel with the observation and apprehension of impressions.
In this way, this workshop rewards a form of reflection on how we are influenced by the environment that surrounds us,
valuing the importance that decisions have on urban space as determining factors that
condition our action. »
And some good vibes from the participants!
« I think the workshop was very enriching in the sense that it allowed us to interact with different artistic forms, mainly in the music workshop and in the map building workshop, and to explore the concept of sustainable mobility in a very innovative way, as well as being in touch with the concept of drift allowing to see how the daily paths that are so common can be seen from another perspective as art. The dance workshop allowed us to make the association between our movement and its traces, which was also quite interesting. »
« Starting by thanking you for the great experience, this workshop was, without a doubt, very interesting and enriching. Upon learning about the different stages of the workshop and how it would be organized, I was immediately interested in the culmination of various artistic expressions that always tend to be my fascination. I was also, of course, excited by the opportunity to have contact with some areas in which I am not so comfortable, namely sound and the visual arts. I confess that I sometimes had doubts about the way the main theme of the workshop (sustainable mobility) was approached during the different activities. Now, with some distance, I understand better that sustainable mobility ended up being always present, even if in a very subtle way. However, in the event that I was asked to describe the workshop more briefly, I might still have some difficulty in relating some activities directly to sustainable mobility. To conclude, I want to reinforce that it was an excellent experience, having learned many things in such a short time, things that could easily be useful in my future as an artist and even as a person. »
« In my opinion, this workshop was very interesting, as it provided us with a variety of activities that I never thought I would try. For example, in the third activity, we were able to do something we always wanted to try. “Dancing and pretending that we were painting the space with a pencil”. We had never done this before, but this activity was able to provide us with that. It was possible to physically explore the amount of things we can do and trace on paper, together with colleagues, observing the result and chaotic paths traced in the plan. In addition, I confess that at the beginning of the work I was not understanding very well the framework of all the activities, that is, how they would result in a single final activity (fourth activity). However, this last proposal was quite surprising, as we were able to observe very different and abstract works, and understand the interpretation of each group regarding what was developed. In addition, I believe that this project has allowed us a great deal of freedom to work and fostered creativity to flow. »
« Participating in the Casa da Imagem workshops was a very interesting, captivating experience, different from everything I’m used to. Through the clues we were given to follow, we ended up discovering and getting to know new things in a place that we all go to regularly. What surprised me the most was the fact that all the groups had a different experience and discovered different things, despite the fact that many of the clues and directions were the same for everyone. The last session was the one that made it possible to understand the purpose of the workshops and the respective relationship between them. All groups had to present their psychogeographic map as a final activity and it was very relevant to see how, although we all had the same four sessions and the proposals were always the same, all the maps were different. Each group associated different emotions and feelings to the same place and path and we
were all able to produce and find different mental references associated with the same place. For me, what was most pertinent was comparing the experiences of others to mine and listening to each one explain what they had decided to put on their map. This workshop helped me to look at the city and the places I go to every day differently and, through drift and chance, find something new in them every day. »
Are you curious to try now? You can download our toolbox from here and crossing the city with your group!