psychogeography || .walk.readme

Posted by Wilfried Hou Je bek | Thu Nov 21st 2002 1 a.m.

Saturday 23 November
Benthuizerstraat 96-B
Gather at 17.00


Saturday 7 December 2002
Soho Square
Gather at 14.00



Generative psychogeography(*), walking on algorithms
as a means to explore the city, translates ideas from
computer science to the real world. The next logical
challenge was to take the whole concept a step further
& to start regarding:
(1) The city as a database
(2) The city as a switchboard

(1) The City as a Database.
Quoting urban theorist Lewis Mumford: "[T]he great
city is the best organ of memory man has yet created".
The city is a memory bank or in modern terms a
database. The database is perhaps the most post-modern
product of the digital revolution: no longer are data
units separated entities: by feeding the database
queries every data can be correlated to uncover
unexpected patterns. If the city is a database then
.walk software improves the power of the generative
psychogeographical search method by adding formulised
shifts in the formula, connecting the pandemonium of
individual action into an interconnected meta-software
to share information & experiences.

(2) The City as a switchboard
The most radical application of algorithmic walks is
to use them in a scheme much more complex: the
construction of a UGPC (Universal Generative
Psychogeographical Computer). In this urban computer
the city is the hardware that functions as a
switchboard or an abacus. The software running on top
of this hardware are the pedestrian agents walking
according to rules that generate the route (= data
processing), exchanging information as they interact
on their 'random' encounters.
In theory the UGPC should be able to solve any
mathematical problem.
The .walk(*2) software development is only the first
feeble attempt to program the urban logic gate staring
at us.
The UGPC is meant to be platform independent, so a
.walk applet that computes Pi in one city should work
in any other city as well.

*) for instance:

2nd street left
1st street right
2nd street left

*2) for instance

// Interactive Generative Psychogeography
// Filename: interact1.walk
// This open source software is produced by
// T = Time (in minutes)
// E = Exportcode
// C = Counter

E = 3
C = 0



E = X

1 st street left
2 nd street right
X street left

When 2 programs meet


Exchange E

C + 1


Count T 0 to 60
If time = 60


abort to Root
print C to


===== |

" is the J. Lo of psychogeography" - Puff Daddy

" big up them themselves" - Ali G

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