Richard Long

Richard Long is an artist from Bristol, UK. He creates work out in nature. His first artwork of this kind was made when he was still a student in the 1960’s. He was rolling a snowball down a hill in winter. Looking back up the hill, he saw the dark path of visible earth the snowball had created over the ground. The track left on the white landscape inspired him to continue making art in this way, to show the mark he has left across a landscape for example.

The geometric lines in this piece, signify stopping and moving. The viewer can make a comparison between the two as the two canvases are displayed side by side.

from Richard Long: Heaven and Earth
from Walking in circles by Richard Long

In 3 lines of text, the artist illustrates his walk. We are told where, what and when. The simplicity of the design makes the piece easy to read. He uses arrows to draw the wind direction. Although there are no natural colours in this piece, I can picture the green of nature because I know that Dartmoor is green, open and hilly because I have driven through there.

In this map, Long has used a photo of a landmark, words and lines. The combination of these elements helps us to build up a picture of the journey being mapped. He tells us about walking times and this tells us that the action was walking.

Here he has mapped the rivers across England and Wales following 1 route. The choice of blue for the text helps to signify water:

The circular formation of the words suggests the artist may have been walking in a circular route. He focuses on the things he has seen , what he has experienced and the days that have passed on the journey:

The word ‘splash’ is used to signify each time the artist has thrown a stone into the sea or river:

Here, Long has mapped his early morning island walk. Although the words are displayed in lists, each list gets shorter, which forms a kind of diagonal path across the page:

Collage experimentation

Isabel Reitemeyer

Collage artist based in Berlin. What I find interesting about her work is the variety of techniques she uses in her collages. Each collage is different and surprising. She experiments with the physical quality of the paper. Sometimes folding it like a fabric and other times cutting the paper with a scalpel.

Images from isabel reitemeyer (@isabelreitemeyer) • Instagram photos and videos

In this image, she has cut the paper carefully into a smooth curved line. The area of the face stands alone on the page. Cutting an area out is an other way of concealing an area, this adds mystery.

I like the choppy style of cutting within this collage. It reminds me of a smashed window. Some lines are parallel but the piece is asymmetrical.

The white area hides the image behind. Because of its shape, we see glimpses of the figure between the branch-like shapes. The flat quality of the white area balances out the depth and blackness of the photograph.

Cutting out sections of an image means you can re-arrange them on the page to your liking. The medium of collage means you can be selective with what to include. In this image, I am drawn to the shape of the negative/white space.

I like the way Reitemeyer plays with layers in this piece. The shape she has cut from the yellow paper acts as a frame for the image behind. The choice of plain yellow draws the focus to the figure. If she had used another image for this top layer, it might look confusing or flat.

I like the way she has broken the image into sections. To me, this symbolises something broken or unsettled about the character or narrative.

When starting the project of making my final zine, I wasn’t quite sure where to start. I needed to generate more ideas about the context, layout and visual elements. Having experimented with format, I was happy I had 3 possible formats to work with.

I began to take photos with my phone camera. I focused loosely on the themes of water, home, fragments and seasons. I took the following photos:

I converted some of the images into black and white before printing them. I used these photos as collage pieces to incorporate into my sketchbook along with the image of my chosen object, the raincoat girl.

Before & after photoshop/ camera RAW

Softening this image make the photo look smokey and dream-like.
Collage experimentation

Within my sketchbook, I began experimenting with collage as a way to play with ideas for the zine.

I printed the photo of the raincoat girl figure in black and white. I photocopied the photo while moving it around on the scanner. I liked the effect because it gave a wavy underwater feeling.

I placed the photo back into the paper compartment of the printer. I then printed the image of the puddle on top. I found that the combination of the dark areas and lighter image underneath worked well.

This experiment wasn’t as effective because the background is darker than the photo I printed on top of the background.

I printed this page from the book The Unofficial Countryside by Richard Mabey. I chose this text because of its reference to seasons and the idea of rebirth. I like the combination of colour with black and white.


The ‘double diamond’ design cycle:

When working on a design, it is sometimes tempting to run ahead with an idea. The problem with this, is the idea never gets fully thought out and developed. By following the double diamond format, I can remember to stay within a certain stage of the process. For example, at the early stages of discover and define, this is about collecting together ideas and following those paths of research that I find interesting.

In this week’s lecture, we were in smaller groups and had the chance to discuss our in initial ideas. My initial idea was about reading, as I thought our map needed to be based on data. As we brainstormed this, I found that there was not a lot to explore here, other than creating a graph. I then considered my second idea, which was about places I have lived. I discovered this was a broader topic because it could be approached creatively. The focus could be on the experience of the journeys I have taken from place to place. I realised that not all journeys are the same in essence. We remember journeys through the landmarks or monuments we pass on the way.

The brainstorm from this session.


From The Tate website:

Psychogeography describes the effect of a geographical location on the emotions and behaviour of individuals.

How do different places make us feel and behave? The term psychogeography was invented by the Marxist theorist Guy Debord in 1955 in order to explore this. Inspired by the French nineteenth century poet and writer Charles Baudelaire’s concept of the flâneur – an urban wanderer – Debord suggested playful and inventive ways of navigating the urban environment in order to examine its architecture and spaces.

Guy Debord – The Naked City

The Naked City was initially meant to be exhibited alongside four other psychogeographical maps of Paris in the Taptoe Gallery in Brussels in 1957. In evoking the first ‘metagraphs’ (métagraphies) produced by Debord a few years earlier, this map is the result of appropriation, a seminal “propaganda method” used by the Lettrists and then the Situationnists” based on fragments cut out maps in a Guide Taride of Paris, the map borrows its title from the eponymous film made by Jules Dassin in 1948, itself titled in reference to the book by the photographer Weegee devoted to the streets of New York in 1945. Published in 1957 with the Psychogeographical Guide of Paris. 

Guy Debord, Michèle Bernstein, and Asger Jorn, Paris, 1958. image from Situationists and the dérive – The Urban Wanderer (

I watched the video The Theory of A Derive — Guy Debord – YouTube by Cascadia Network.

In the video, they made the following points:

  • Older cities are more suited to derive in e.g. Paris where Debord was, compared to newer cities in America.
  • In America, people often live outside the cities and need to commute in for work. This is an hour or 2 out of your day that you are not paid for. It’s a journey you are forced to take because of the city’s infrastructure and the fact that houses are build away from the cities (urban sprawl) These journeys give you tunnel vision about a place because you are taking the same route everyday (the fastest, the most direct.)
  • For the first time, we are more separated from our surroundings than we are connected to them. Separated by purposeful transportation: rise in cars and decline in public transit systems . people are now travelling with purpose, they are travelling to a place and back from a place and disregard the journey. This disconnection socialises us to believe the natural world isn’t as important. If people are to care more about environmental issues, then they need to be in touch with their surroundings.
  • humans respond more favourably to natural curving spaces and negatively to straight lines and sharp contours. We are drawn to shapes and colours found in the natural world, which provide a sense of privacy and security.
  • A derive = you have to go out with the intent of doing a derive. (We recognize our psychogeography to our environment and we want to do the opposite of it.) A social experience. Walking aimlessly is a component of a derive.
  • Replenishing yourself from the capitalist structures, similar to when artists spend time away from society in the woods.
  • If you walk about aimlessly and you don’t think about how your environment is affecting you, you are still being guided, you are still subconsciously being driven to a place by the design of the environment that surrounds you because it inherently wants to take you on a cycle of work, home and then maybe a bit of leisure.
  • If you tracked the average person’s weekly movements, you would see a triangle shape on a map: home, school or work and something else e.g. piano lessons.

Psychogeography: Walking through strategy, nature and narrative James D Sidaway

Iain Sinclair

‘Interviewed in 2012, Sinclair described his work: to try, linguistically, to create maps: my purpose, my point, has always been to create a map of somewhere by which I would know not only myself but a landscape and a place. When I call it a ‘map’, it is a very generalized form of a scrapbook or a cabinet of curiosities that includes written texts and a lot of photographs… It’s not a sense of a map that wants to sell something or to present a particular agenda of any kind; it’s a series of structures that don’t really take on any other form of description. (Cooper and Roberts, 2012: 85)

Elsewhere, Sinclair (2015:14) has noted that his own: preferred nature studies were abandoned mine works, landfill quarries, feeder pipes, slag heaps, rust-red streams, overgrown railway embankments and not the approved catalogue of rabbits, hawks, herons, butterflies, beetles, spiders, mallow, rock spurrey and gentian.

Mabey and Sinclair, however, are particularly mindful of language – struggling to find the words and arrange them in ways that summon place. On reading Sinclair, Alex Murray (2007: 59) declares: ‘the narrative starts everywhere because sensory experience starts everywhere … every piece of information has a place, every fragment can, and indeed must have some significance’. For Mabey (2010: 117, 119): [‘urban wastelands’ and ‘fringes’] had been a revelation, a testament to the tenacity of living things. I’d hike along derelict canals, watch sandpipers bobbing on floating car tyres, find scraps of medieval hedge caught the between the mobilehome parks [ … ] the language we use about these places does us no favours. ‘Brownfield’ suggests deadness and sterility, the precise opposite of the riotous growth that characterises them.

Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts

Their Edgelands: Journeys in England’s True Wilderness wants ‘to break out of the duality of rural and urban landscape writing, to explore these unobserved parts of our shared landscape as places of possibility, mystery, beauty’. Adopting the term edgelands, developed by Marion Shoard (2000) to refer to landscapes between town and country (see too Kabo, 2015), 28 short chapters follow, with one-word titles: ‘Cars’, ‘Paths’, ‘Dens’, ‘Containers’, ‘Landfill’, ‘Water’, ‘Sewage’, ‘Wire’, ‘Gardens’, ‘Lofts’, ‘Canals’, ‘Bridges’, ‘Masts’, ‘Wasteland’, ‘Ruins’, ‘Woodlands’, ‘Venues’, ‘Mines’, ‘Power’, ‘Pallets’, ‘Hotels’, ‘Retail’, ‘Business’, ‘Ranges’, ‘Lights’, ‘Airports’, ‘Weather’, ‘Piers’.

Farley and Roberts (2011: 11) are dismissive of nature writers who set out in search only of solitude and wilderness, noting that, like cities, urban fringes and ‘remote’ places all ‘have our political, economic and social history written all over them’. Farley and Roberts (2011: 9) are also wary of psychogeography: At other times – as in the work of some so-called psychogeographers – they are merely a backdrop for bleak observations on the mess we humans have made of our lives, landscapes, politics and each other. In our view, both these ‘schools’ run the same risk – using the edgelands as a short cut to misanthropy.’

Ennui-sur-Blasé metro map by Dispatch’s design team

I found this image in the journal Creative Review (October/November5 2021 Issue). I was drawn to this map as it reminded me of the map we made in last week’s group project. In this map, we can choose to follow a different journey with our eyes and the colours help us differentiate the separate journeys.

Susan Hiller

From the book Susan Hiller edited by Ann Galagher:

In The J.Street Project, Hiller’s assiduous charting of every street sign in  Germany bearing the prefix Juden (Jew) expands the referent of each of these markers from a local geography to the more encompassing territory of history. The 303 signs, dispersed throughout Germany on city streets, pathways, lanes and country roads, bespoke, to uncanny effect, the very absence of what they announce. The work sharply focuses the dissonance between these everyday un remarked signs and the emotion and memories embedded within the genocidal history they at once reiterate and occlude.

The J.Street Project comprises an index of 303 photographs of the signs, presented in a monumental grid; a large scale outline map of Germany pinpointing each of these sites, shown with a listing of the resonant location names (the Juden-alleys, walkways, avenues, roads, groves, ways);  a 67-minute film situating each sign amid the movement of daily life in settings from urban and suburban to countryside and village; and a 644-page full-colour book presenting and identifying each of the 303 street signs. (Renee Baert, 2006)