Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Situationist concept of the “dérive”

To understanding the position of the dérive in capitalism and its effect on the city the best approach is to get more familiar with the meaning of the theory of derive and its position in the city. Essentially one of the basic Situationist practices is Dérive(drifting).

It is a creative experiment and constructive behavior. It is a quick way to go through mix atmosphere and find the inspiring result at the end. Derive is engaging people in the certain time in particular places with the new point of view of the experiment. Dérive shows an innovative psychogeographical achievement during and after the experience. The practice of derive is truly different from the traditional philosophy of walking or collecting information.

Dérive is about the city which gets discover by one or a group of people during the certain time. They essentially leave their regular activities, work and all other responsibilities and start fallowing the attraction of the city. They basically let the city to guide them and show them the hidden spaces and secrets. In the dérive the main point to get to the successful result is, one not count on the chance and second follow the buried path and get lost in the city.

In fact from the derive sight cities have psychogeographical outlines and undisclosed spot which never can notice from certain zone. To obtain that moment and observe the information people need to follow the pure form of the city and dérive.
Now the question is how dérive and dérivers can relate to the capitalism and the society. Capitalism is a social system based on the respect of individual rights and also property rights. Under capitalism the state is separated from economics (production and trade) and the state is separated from religion. Also capitalism is the system of laissez fairs and the political freedom.

Some critics of the capitalism is related to unfair distribution of wealth and power, a tendency toward market monopoly or oligopoly, imperialism, counter-revolutionary wars and various forms of economic and cultural exploitation, repression of workers and trade unionists, social alienation, economic inequality, unemployment, and economic instability. Since the dérive doesn’t follow the pure boundaries of the city and the duration of the experiment and also doesn’t have any relation to the solar time it will be an insurgent way to discover. In addition, dérivers can see the other side of the urban area which is not usually clear on the regular trip.

Based on Debord argument in 1967 some special features like mass media and advertising play a main character in a capitalist society. In fact they show a fake reality in order to mask the real capitalist degradation of human life. One of the approaches of Situationists to the life experiences in capitalism is critical thinking and since the dérivers doesn’t have a limit to follow certain scheme they would have a chance to get closer to the reality and see the problems or complexity in the city under capitalism and criticize the system.

dérives allows people to draw up the surveys of the psychogeographical articulations of a modern city. City can transform physically and structured around relations, freedom, knowledge and experience. If people be free emotionally they would develop their experience of their surrounding and can simply fight to change the city view in certain way. They can point out the failure of the system in the city and let others recognize them as well. Moreover, they can help the system to correct itself and get rid of the marked off point. Dérive is not just a behavior or trial; it is an imaginative way to collect information and it can unveil all hidden layers of the city.

Works Cited
1.Ernest Debord, Guy, Theory of the Dérive, Essay 1958
2.Friedman, Milton. Friedman, Rose D, Capitalism and freedom (Theory of the Derive)
3.Hill, Enid, First World Capitalism. Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ), summer, 1999
4.Urban Dictionary, Capitalism
5.Wikipedia, Capitalism and Situationist International


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