The situationists aimed at developing a different method to explore the city. With phrases like “We are bored in the city, there is no longer any Temple of the Sun.” (Gilles Ivan 1953 in International Situationniste no 1) they set out to explore the daily urban environment by “cruising” it. Guy Debord describes the technique of exploring in his “Theory of the derive” like this: “Among the various situationist methods is the derive [literally: ‘drifting’], a technique of transient passage through varied ambiances. The derive entails playful-constructive behavior and awareness of phsychogeographical effects; which completely distinguishes it from the classical notions of the journey and the stroll.” (Guy Debord 1956).
Image from notbored.org
The illustration “The Naked City” was developed with these ideas in mind and represent bits and pieces of a map of Paris hold together by a number of arrows indicating connections. This view of islands within the fabric of the city not only represents random walks but also general daily experience we all make. The places we visit are very often not linked through experienced space, but rather through a spatially disconnected mode of transport, e.g. tube or a busy bus.
A nice clip showing the rhythm of a derive