“What are you working on, exactly? I have no idea.”

“Reification,” he answered.

“It’s a serious job,” I added.

“Yes, it is,” he said.

“I see,” Carol observed with admiration. “Serious work, with big books and a big table cluttered with papers.”

“No,” said Gilles. “I walk. Mostly I walk.”

- Michelle Bernstein, All the King’s Horses

Guy Debord recommended the technique of dérive, or drift, where “one or more persons drop their usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain”. Like cut-ups, perambulation becomes a method of defamiliarisation. Continuous drifting, as Ivan Chtcheglov said, results in total disorientation. A dérive is a kind of détournment or appropriation of urban space, making use of the environment in ways which were not intended by its planners. It is also importantly a form of research for a future city: “The hacienda must be built”. You could try presenting your dérive as an Audio Walk.


  • Go for a walk.
  • Make notes of: signs, graffiti, labels/tags, litter
  • Listen out for overheard conversations, overheard song-lyrics.
  • Write it all down. Pay attention to everything.