Saturday, April 24, 2021

40 Doors of Bergamo - Psychogeography

Bergamo 40 Doors Project - Post 1 - Psychogeography

What is the 40 Doors Project of Bergamo?

This project showcases interesting doors of Bergamo, Italy. In a series of posts, we'll show 40 different doors per post. And, each post has a theme that connects to doors. This post is the first in the series and its theme is psychogeography. 


We admit it: we are flâneurs. We are loafers, idlers, dawdlers – whatever you want to call us – when it comes to walking around Bergamo, or any city for that matter. We explore, we observe, we feel. The last point is key. Many of our walking conversations are about "how does something make us feel". Answers could be: "It make's me feel happy." "It's beautiful." "That's odd." "It looks ugly to me." It's not about passing judgement but noting our reactions and thinking about them. We've written past pieces in this vein, including: Bergamo – A Running Mediation and Thoughts on Ivy, which are fundamentally pieces about how place makes us feel.

Noticing how place impacts emotion falls under psychogeography. This term came into use in the 1950s among radical artists and cultural theorists in Europe associated first with Letterist International and then with Situationist International movements. One of the beautiful ideas from these movements is the dérive, "an unplanned journey through a landscape, usually urban, in which participants drop their everyday relations and 'let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there'".

The 40 doors of Bergamo project is our way of exploring, observing and thinking about doors. These are doors we pass by on our dérive through Bergamo. We plan walks for sure – see Walking and Hiking Around Bergamo – but there are just as many unplanned, serendipitous walks we take through the streets, country lanes, and scalette of Bergamo.

Recently and serendipitously we put on the latest Max Richter release, Voices 2, and the first track was – drum roll – Psychogeography. When you can't get outside for a physical dérive, Richter's music is perfect for a in-place mental dérive. One of our all time Richter favorites is The Blue Notebooks, described in a past post, Blue Ocatvo Notebooks.

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