Guy Debord 1956

Announcement of a Provisional Congress for the Psychogeographic Fragmentation of the London Agglomeration

Source: Oeuvres. Gallimard, Paris, 2006;
Translated: from the original for by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2008.

In the month of August we propose to bring together for a week a certain number of individuals called on to discuss the first concrete results of psychogeography[1]; of that discipline’s place in the group of problems posed by the creation of a new culture, and the possibilities of its concrete application to the city of London. At the end of this week of discussions the group will enter into action in order to verify by experience some of the theoretical conclusions of the Congress.

This action will inevitably take on multiple – and occasionally violent – aspects. Its usefulness will principally reside in the study of the effects, on a great modern urban center, of a series of rapid and sustained shocks calculated to introduce -during a period limited to one month – an element of uncertainty in the normal social and affective organization of the city.

We recognize that an urban agglomeration the size of London represents nothing psychogeographically. It is important in the very beginning to divide it into several clearly defined zones. And then, within these juxtaposed zones, we must study the placement and limits of the different ambience units in order to utilize them in function of our plans, and to anticipate their emotional perfecting by means of an appropriate architecture and urbanism.

We know that the inhabitants of London, like those of all the other cities of current society, suffer from nervous problems, which are the inevitable consequence of today’s urbanism and, more generally, of a profound mental misery, which is a product of our primitive society.

We feel ourselves capable of participating, in the important sector of the modern sensibility, in the labor of change our times demand. It is with this goal in mind that we are undertaking the London experiment. It is a matter of offering everyone the chance of adopting a global solution to the problems of 1957. The solution offered will exercise a radical influence on activities of all kinds: plastic, psychological, musical, political, literary, social, journalistic, erotic, popular, military, philosophical, cinematographic, aristocratic, pedagogical, commercial, religious, culinary, architectural, etc.

In fact, we hope to assemble in London experts in the revolution in every aspect of life in order to work together at the creation of transitory affective situations consciously constructed.

It isn’t currently possible to foresee the results of such activity. We invite all those who want to participate in its invention to contact the organizing committee.

Organizing Committee of the Provisional Congress for the Psychogeographic Fragmentation of the London Agglomeration.

c/o I.C.A. 17-18 Dover St, Piccadilly, London, W1
Potlatch, 32, rue de la Montagne-Geneviève, Paris 5

1. The study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.”