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Mattias Forshage


 


Geography


 

Geography is about the coordination of the material circumstances with conscious and unconscious expectations - neither is capable of creating a conception of the world except through the other one. Itīs not strange then that Geography is constantly intersected with poetry and politics. Psychogeography poses questions about how the world really appears, by which coordinates and bases one really takes ones bearings, which areas and routes that magnetically attract one or hardly exist, etc. The psychogeographical field is to a great extent determined by fear of the unknown and willingness to please, thatīs for sure; monotonous routes to work, schools, shops and homes, along therefor intended roads papered with advertisments. City planning encourages this; politicians, companies and experts decide where people shall move in order to have their needs satisfied in a simple and profitable way. But thereīs always a tendency to find detours, look behind the corner, on the backstreet, behind the barriers. One often bumps into obstacles. Control over territories are crucial. Where fences, barbed wire and guards arenīt in the way, it could be the question of areas where one has to count on attracting for example sexual harassments, the curiosity of the police, and open aggression.


City planning is, beside its purely disciplinating function, founded on demands of profitability towards the land, and those arenīt restricted to the cities and their vicinities but reign overall. The land is a natural resource, thus it must be exploited. Either it has to be built upon, or subjected to an effective agriculture or forestry, or perhaps be saved as recreational areas. These can be immediately profitable through various tourist incomes, but where they arenīt itīs probably made up on longer terms through their ideological function, their soothing effect on stressed or critical individuals.


We have no wildernesses, no dark spots on the map. Almost all land is used, serves a purpose; is delimited, fitted in, tamed.


(abbreviated version)


(Stora Saltet #2, sept 1995)

 

 

 

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