chapter  5
Loitering in the city
Psychogeography as art activism 1
ByPaula Serafini
Pages 16

This chapter is concerned with how art activism transforms, and is conditioned by, the physical characteristics and the dynamics of the spaces it operates in. The chapter begins with an overview of global practices of politicised public art, and then centres around the case of Loiterers Resistance Movement (LRM), a Manchester-based collective that goes on psychogeographical walks as a way of reclaiming the city from neoliberal mechanisms of control. It presents stories from psychogeographical walks with the group and excerpts from conversations with one of the group’s organisers. Psychogeography is considered here as both a creative and political activity; consequently, the chapter examines the politics and ethics of urban exploration as artistic practice drawing from historical and contemporary writings on walking and psychogeography. The chapter also examines the dynamic of play as a way of introducing creativity into politics and poses questions around the potential and limitations of the artist as facilitator of social change, as well as looking at the challenges of developing a psychogeographical practice that is truly collaborative and horizontal.