Drift

 
CONTENTS PAGEcontents.htmlcontents.htmlcontents.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1

Thoughts recorded:
The group Chto delat employ the notion of drift, especially as developed in the metaphor of an ice drift, in which one is not able to control the direction but merely able only to comment. This would appear to describe a rather passive and reluctant explorer, one better described as a passenger or tourist. A more interesting and productive development of the metaphor would be of a party who traverses the drift ice moving from ice floe to ice floe, thereby tracing a course along a particular current which others might follow; however any subsequent travellers would not be able to trace the exact same route since the floes would have shifted and changed arrangement, also those at the front are visible as distant figures providing only a sense of direction and showing that progress is possible, but quite how is left to those who would decide to travel in the same direction.
It is this more open interpretation of the notion of the drift which lead to the attempt to transcribe on the city of Milan the freedom of movement available and the route taken by a pedalo upon a lake. The transcription of the pedalo’s movements rendered the drift through the city a sort of détournement of the city’s transport structure, which was used not to get from A to B but, in a movement worthy of the strictest Modernist criteria, simply and purely to travel.

The route was travelled in a clockwise direction, starting from a point close to were Stuart Russell Brown had lived previously for a year. Due to his attempts to follow faithfully the directions taken by the pedalo he inadvertently ended up travelled through areas that were already familiar to him, but which were rendered afresh to eyes playing the tourist for the first time. It proved an engaging exercise in which to re-explore those areas, albeit in a limited manner, and become aware of both the limitations and freedom offered by the city.
There was also a sense of displacement and superimposition experienced due to travelling now familiar routes but taking unfamiliar stops, and also the ability to finally understand the language and the infrastructure permitted a sense of complacency about traversing the city. To enter a city with only a map and some directions is one of the best ways to experience that city, simply because the sheer arbitrariness of the directions ensures that even if one traverses familiar routes the perception of localities will be different each time and it serves further to negate the funnelling tendency of cities.

The synchronised movement of a pedalo on Lake Como
and a pedestrian in Milan



Como and Milano (IT) - December 2010 - Participants: Felicia Cleveland-Stevens, Jamie Moore, Gaia Rosenberg Colorni, Stuart Russell Brown, Gwilym Sainsbury

Lake Como, Italy - pedalo drift

Participants: Felicia Cleveland-Stevens, Jamie Moore, Gaia Rosenberg Colorni, Gwilym Sainsbury

Milano, Italy - pedestrian drift

Participants: Stuart Russell Brown

Milano

Instructions received:

Travel in the following directions using any means of transport, including on foot.

1) Get nearest public transport. Head NW for 10 minutes

2) Get off. Transportation heading W for 5 mins

3) Walk W for 5 mins

4) Drift for 15 mins, take a photo every minute and record thoughts as desired

5) Return to start

6) Finish

Instructions given by mobile phone from a pedalo in Lake Como to a pedestrian in Milano for synchronised movement in the two distinct spaces

ARCHIVEArchive.html

Started at 3.45pm

1) Drifitng to Lodi T.I.B.B. metro station from Esselunga (in vicinity of previous residence in Milan)


2) Alighted at Montenapoleone Metro stop at 16.05. About to drift NE on foot. Stuck behind ambling italians


3) Tango'd with bus doors after running for it. Bus taken at stop via Moscova/via Danielle


4) On tram 12 (my tram - I lived very near this line) heading in direction of friend's house and Monumental Cemetery. (The friend is now back in Poland). Tram stuck in traffic. Will pause drift till tram resumes. Pause maybe 3/4 minutes. Further delay, tram has developed fault. Driver dismounted to sort it. We are stopped at Cimetero Monumentale. Drift resumes


5) Drift significantly lengthened and influenced by need to buy coach ticket and also toilet. Eventually gave up searching around station for suitably secluded spot and used over-priced toilets in station. Just saw old room-mate (the guard at Centrale Station) going into toilets. He didn't recognise me or didn't want to.


Time 5.47pm

6) Taking filobus 92 from Centrale back to start. Also just had ticket inspected. They always get on by Centrale, try + catch people out.

Being an attractive woman who looks like they badly need to catch a bus is a sure way to do so. e.g. woman hopping impatiently to cross road to catch bus. Also this journey is strange because I will pass my stop (where I lived last year) and finish at end of 92's line.


7) Finished. Returning on Metro to friend whom staying with in Milan. Journey has involved several circuits - The one induced by the game, the one where by I re-passed through Porta Garibaldi and finally the return to my friend's, where I'd already been to leave my bag in the morning.

Interactive Google map showing GPS tracked route of pedalo:

Interactive Google map showing GPS tracked route of pedestrian:

Video Footage of pedalo on Lake Como:

Related projects:

 Dinghy Trip Leeds/Liverpool Canal. October - November 2010Dinghy_trip.html
End Of Passage: Leeds Bradford Airport to Leeds Town Hall. October 2010End_Of_Passage.html
Campione d’Italia. December 2010Campione_ditalia.html