An introduction to:
"MAP is a psychogeographic news letter for Manchester and its surrounding area. Psychogeographic publications have poured out of London in recent years - we think it's time Manchester was looked at and recorded. Our aim is to bring to light the truth about Manchester that remains hidden by time, buried under layer upon layer of concrete, shoveled aside by banal culture. Our interests lie in the hidden history, the ulterior motive, and the suppressed geography that the consumerised city centre masks. To detect that geography we are prone to the use of disorientating and de-normalising methods in language and testimony." MAP 1 Autumn 1995
Manchester Area Psychogeographic published 9 newsletters between 1995 and 1998, as well as undertaking a number of derives and other activities. Its aim was to change the way the conurbation of Manchester is perceived and used, as a lived-in environment. To achieve that change, MAP detected the ancient reverberations of the buried city, and traced the alignments which have, throughout history, channeled and controlled the emotions of the city dweller.
Supporters and sympathisers were invited to take part in regular MAP actions, which began on February 10 1996 when they levitated the Manchester Corn Exchange, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the arrival in Manchester of Dr John Dee, astrologer, alchemist, cartographer, code maker, and Warden of Manchester's collegiate Church. Coverage of the Manchester Area Psychogeographic levitation of the local Corn Exchange can be found in the Manchester Evening News of 12/2/96.
MAP published a free newsletter, at first every two months but later less regularly. They used their newsletters to publicise regular gatherings that interested parties could attend. On these trips, anything or nothing at all could happen. These were possible appointments and sometimes only one intrepid psychogeographer attended. Other events were huge gatherings of urban tribes bent on emotionally remapping the city in which they dwell. Psychogeographers pass each other like ships in the night, show up late or not at all.
MAP is now semi-defunct, but the interview and articles collected here remain an invigorating investigation into what lies beneath the surface of an urban environment.
A big thank you goes out to Bob Dickinson and C.P. Lee for letting me reproduce these excerpts and for supplying me with copies of some of the original MAP newsletters.
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