what is psychogeophysics?


With psychogeography [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychogeography] easily defined as a playful examination of the total effects of geography and place on the individual,[“the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.” Guy Debord. Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography, 1955] Psychogeophysics extends such research to embrace geophysics [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geophysics], defined as the quantitative observation of the earth's physical properties, and its interaction with local spectral ecologies. Geophysics equally encompasses archaeological geophysics, with measurement of such properties allowing for the mapping of previous traces through techniques of particle/wave detection and data forensics.

This extension of psychogeography into geophysics implies a collision between interpretation (fiction) and measurement, with Psychogeophysics proposed as a novel discipline that bridges any such distinction through the medium of code, and offers a speculative take on the future of code as an uncovering of its locative (diagnostic) potentials leading to a new phase of software studies.


The term “Psychogeophysics” was first used explicitly during a research group conducted as part of the Transmediale.10 festival [http://www.transmediale.de/festival/all] , Berlin in February 2010, entitled Topology of a Future City [http://www.transmediale.de/en/node/11027]. Psychogeophysics names a direction in which many artists and researchers have explored in recent history.

Earlier events which could be billed as psychogeophysical avant-la-lettre include xxxxx-Peenemünde in Peenemünde [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peenemuende], Northern Germany (2008) [http://www.1010.co.uk/org/xxxxx_peenemuende.html], The Courier's Tragedy workshop in Newcastle (2009)[http://ptechnic.org/ecologies/spectral/index.html]

The first Psychogeophysics summit took place in early August 2010 in London, assembling an international group of artists, researchers and theorists to promote this novel discipline with a series of public oriented experimental workshops and seminars investigating various psychophysical [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychophysics] fictions within East London.

Important Precursors

Freidrich Juergenson

Konstantin Raudive [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstantin_Raudive]

dot.walk - socialfiction.org [http://www.socialfiction.org/?tag=.walk]

J.G. Ballard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jg_ballard


Psychogeophysics borrows techniques from EVP/ITC [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_voice_phenomenon], classical psychogeography, archaeological geophysics [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeological_geophysics], TEMPEST analysis [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TEMPEST] and environmental steganography [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steganography]. These techniques include:

  1. excitation and measurement of various substrates
  2. provision of a carrier and its subsequent detection
  3. scrying (long-term analysis of geophysical indicators)
  4. data forensics/sedimentation

Although very much in its infancy new techniques suggested by psychogeophysics revolve around two core principles or methodologies: detection (in all its senses), and the pairing of excitation and subsequent measurement.

These techniques include:

  1. navigation by way of wide band signal intensities (for example, using simple detection devices to navigate towards parts of the city with lower measured signal strength)
  2. identification and exercise of sites of execution and memory (for example, measurement of impedance, and chemical properties of local substrates)
  3. rendering executable of city walks and locations (.walk)




The Stone Tape: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stone_Tape

psychogeophysics handbook and reader v.04 PDF

wikipedia.txt · Last modified: 2011/04/13 18:52 by m
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