Saturday, 29 November 2008

clues needed..please help

Dearest friends

Please accept apologies for my breaking the one message a month rule, but heas our friend says 'no forbiding allowed' and i hope you will think it worthwhile

Next sunday is decembers extravaganza uniting loiterers across the world (and even in that london) on a quest... and a quest requires clues... so that is what i'm asking for.

please send me (OFFLIST - DONT RELPY TO ALL - IT'S A SECRET) a phrase or a place or somesuch that can be found anywhere - and thus can be applied wherever a loiterer finds themselves at 2pm next sunday.
all will be revealed next week but in the meantime please shower me with clues and shhh remember not to tell

if you want to take part in the shenanigans outside manchester please send a mobile or pager number or details of how to talk to some other receptacle that can accept sms text messages. If this isn't possible don;t despair i will employ my secret army of passenger pigeons but they need a bit more notice so let me know as soon as you can that you want to take part

Woooh its gonna be exciting... in the meantime please keep warm and enjoy some chilly mischief

M x

Monday, 24 November 2008

identity cards and racism are too of the most un-loiterer friendly activities i can think of. I am too angry and sad to think of anything witty or insightful; i'd ranted elsewhere anyway but tomorrow is a bleak day and our friends from no borders and no2id are doing something about it. i send them love and power and i'm sorry i can;t be there but if anyone get backs from liverpool and makes it to the britons meeting let me know and i'll buy you a pint. Heres the message:

On 25th November, the government will begin introducing ID cards for non-EU nationals living in the UK. We invite all opponents of social control to join us at a protest in Liverpool outside Reliance House (the Border Agency’s offices and a short-term immigration prison) at 12 noon on that day. Reliance House is one of the six centres in the UK for ID cards processing. Other groups campaigning against ID cards on that day are Manchester NO2ID and Liverpool Defy ID and we hope to see Merseyside No Borders activists there as well.

We will travel there as a group, meet at 9am on the steps of the Student Union of Manchester University, Oxford Road. We will try to get everyone into minibuses leaving from there or take the train together from Oxford Road station (£6.20 return with railcard) if there are too many of us.
In Liverpool, assemble in Exchange Flats at 11am and then move around the corner to Reliance House, 20 Water Street, L2 8XU, for the protest from noon to 1pm.

The six Border Agency centres that have been setup to take fingerprints and photographs are Croydon, Sheffield, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Glasgow. From the 25th in Croydon, and then rolled out to the other centres over the coming weeks, overseas students and non-EU spouses of UK residents who apply for an extension of their stay in the UK are required to attend one of the fingerprinting centres and have their biometric data registered with the Home Office.

Due to delays, some foreign students are already told not to make travel plans for the near future. Failure to comply could mean the revoking of the permission to stay in the UK, and non-attendance at the centres could lead to fines of up to £1,000. Lecturers will be required to aid the Home Office in identifying foreign students with low attendance rates. Those students would then lose the right to study in the UK.

The law used is the 2007 UK Borders Act, whereas ID cards will be rolled out to UK citizens as part of the 2006 ID Cards Act. The attack on foreigners living or wanting to live in the UK is part of the Home Office’s ‘points-based system’, whereby migrants wanting to settle, study or work in the UK have to earn enough ‘points’ to be granted the right. The rationale is purely economic, in that it allows the government to select foreign workers and students who it deems useful to the economy.

The issue of ID cards is thus an inherently political one. It is no coincidence that ID cards will be rolled out to non-EU nationals first. This is another mechanism for the control and management of undocumented migrants, further reinforcing the division between legal and ‘illegal’ residence status. Whilst we reject ID cards entirely, on 25th November we aim to highlight the links between ID cards and migration management in particular.

No Borders! No Nations!
No One is Illegal

Manchester No Borders

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Forthcoming events

Dear friends, elemental beings and other comrades in loitering

I hope this email finds you discovering treasure under the dirty pavements and glory in the gorgeous autumn sunsets.

The LRM are having a bit of a planning meeting / social shindig / moonlit derive on 7pm next Tuesday 25th November at The Britons Protection pub Great Bridgewater Street

It would be splendid to see you there. In case you are worried the meeting bit sounds like hard work it won’t be and I dare say a map of the event will not resemble an equilateral triangle

This is an opportunity to discuss some of the fantastic ideas floating around in the ether at the moment and see how we can make them happen. Probable subjects include

• Future First Sundays and derives on other days. If you have an idea for a walk you would like to share please don’t be shy; the LRM are here to support you in any way we can.

• Artistic interventions and exhibitions – again there has been a lot of talk which it would be marvellous to see manifest (including the cake map)

• Collaborations with other organisations such as Greater Mapchester, Urban Research Collective, Bitc, Marbella etc – how can we work together to further everyone’s aims? (Representatives from further afield will be joining us to let us know what’s happening)

• Loitering outside the city – various trips have been suggested, also how can we link with lone loiterers and those outside Manchester
• Subvert the City with film and music and the University of Interesting Stuff (calls to action will be revealed on Tuesday night)

• The website / forum / mailing list – what do people want?

• Documenting the LRM – we have some money specifically to produce a new leaflet or some such.

If you have any ideas or materials to contribute but can’t come please do get in touch and we’ll convey your thoughts. Remember manchester is an imaginary city; you can join with us wherever you may be

Also if you want to join us later we will be out awandering but are highly likely to end up in another hostelry so please text or call to find us. As ever the hotline is 079 749 29589 and the email is has more information and some important points about why we do this for love, not money

Glittery love and power

Morag x

PS Decembers first Sunday (stardate 07.12.08) is going to be very special and focuses on helping anyone, anywhere free their inner loiterer. It will take place at 2pm local time anywhere you want it to. More details and the location for the mancunian meet up to be revealed next week but in the meantime please put the date in your diary and have a rummage for a coin and a dice

Friday, 14 November 2008

Communique on money and The LRM to those who think i don't know when i'm being ripped off

The LRM is run entirely by volunteers. We do this for love and not money. This doesn’t mean we are all ideologically opposed to artists or theorists getting paid for their time and skills BUT the LRM is not an opportunity to make money or build a career.

Anti capitalist ideals are central to our project and we don’t want to add to the illusion that you need money to have fun or be creative. Not being paid does not mean the LRM has no value; rather it is priceless. Psychogeography is for everyone and anyone can be an expert; we don’t want to create a hierarchy where some contributions are more deemed important, and therefore more worthy of material payment, than others.

We do not and will not ever charge an attendance fee; there are many barriers to engagement with psychogeography and we don’t want money or lack of this to be one of them. (As an aside language and the academy are others; we strive to keep the situationist ideals alive on the street not in the classroom or cage; flanuers by their very nature thrive in the open air and we want to reach people who are alienated by the academic elite and corporate sponsored art. This does not mean we have not read your books or formulated theories but for now we focus on deeds not words)

We are open to all who are curious about our work. We did not invent psychogeography; we don’t own these ideas; we build on foundations laid by illustrious forbears and our work, in turn, will be destroyed by those we inspire. Any and all contributions to our project are welcome and anyone can post to the website if they wish. We embrace outsider art, DIY creatives and self taught mavericks alongside those with traditional skills and specialist knowledge; within the LRM those distinctions dissolve and all ideas are valid.

There is an element of trust implicit in our openness and I know we (and myself personally) have been exploited because of this but I’d rather meet 20 good people and one rogue than be closed to our community so we will continue with this folly and trust in natural justice that those who disrespect us will never find what they seek here.

There is no psychogeography anymore; there are multiple versions, as many stories as the city can hold, infinite and contradictory. We welcome diverse views, it makes us richer and stronger and more interesting. This isn’t just a nice ideal; we mean it as demonstrated by that symbol of new Manchester The Beetham Tower. Some of us call it Satan, others call it home (personally I’m bored of it now; we dissolved it so now its irrelevant)

We own the city but it’s not ours to sell. Play is a fundamental human right; we want you to join us having fun. It would be rude to ask you to pay. Of course others think differently and that is their right.

My favourite slogan from May 68 is “Forbidding is not Allowed” and we welcome other groups and ideas; there is enough room for us all and psychogeography deserves multiple interpretations and manifestations. The revolution always fails because factions argue about the correct way to tie shoelaces; we don’t want to get distracted by petty squabbles and so respect your right to make money and artistic reputations on the back of our hard work, we just ask you do not steal our unique identity too.

Selling out is a bullshit notion; we live in a recuperated society where everyone is compromised. We believe in being true to your soul and looking beyond the material and we hope others will not exploit us for this. We don’t knit our own internet or live in on the big rock candy mountain. Most of us have day jobs; some may have a psychogeographical element to them (mine does not) None of us can claim purity of soul or deed. I do not know my price yet but I may one day be offered enough to abandon my principles and all that I cherish. I hope not but people are subject to change as much as cities

We believe in honest and transparent communication so to be clear: The LRM have received small amounts of money in the form of grants and donations. They came with no conditions and have gone towards group activities, notably during Get Lost.

Money has been spent on flyers, leaflets and artists expenses (travel, materials etc) because people should not be left out of pocket if they choose to work with us. However no one has been paid for their time or received any wages. All expenditure was approved at open meetings and you are welcome to see our accounts. I personally have lost money and not received any expenses because I choose to subsidise LRM activities but I will not be a martyr to the cause and do not expect others to do the same.

To the LRM it seems self evidently hypocritical to rally against consumerism but charge people for the privelege of hearing us. It would be as wrong to instigate a membership fee as it would to fill public space with advertising and petty restrictions. The streets are our playground and the best games are ones we invent. Don't just be a spectator: join in, become us, make mistakes and grow with us as we discover new universes and old.

We are re-imagining the world we want to live in, creating it ourselves and redrawing the map in our own image. This is far too big an opportunity to squander away haggling over something as vulgar as cash.

Please join us in our mission to keep psychogeography free and for everybody; we can’t offer you money but open your heart and mind and leap into a world of treasures beyond compare with The LRM. It’s a way of life but not a lifestyle choice

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Greater Mapchester

What: Meeting to discuss community mapping in Greater Manchester. What ideas do people have for maps? How can the maps link to OpenStreetMap? What practical steps are needed?

Who: Everyone is welcome.

When: 7pm, Thursday 20 November 2008 (arriving from 6pm)

Where: Marbella Café, Sunshine Studios, 52-54 Newton St, Manchester, M1 1ED (nr Piccadilly. See for map)

Questions: Email Jon Porter ( If you can't make it to the meeting, send in your ideas and we'll read them out.

Background: If you're not familiar with OpenStreetMap, it would be useful to take a look at

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Boredom is always counter revolutionary

Bored in the City take their name from my favourite classic situationist text Ivan Chtchglov's Formulary for a New Urbanism (The Hacienda must be built) which you can read in its entirety at

Rather more in keeping with this website I have been meaning to share the text below for some time, it was originally written for the zinefest treasury and is an attempt to introduce the curious to the basic tenets of the Situationist Internationale and explain a little of their enduring fascination

Why I love the situationists

I can’t hope to do the situationists justice in a hastily scrawled midnight ramble as I eagerly await zinefest; these are just thought scraps. I urge you to investigate them – a really fascinating movement and one with lasting repercussions on popular culture.

The slogans overleaf are all graffiti from Paris in May 1968 – when situationist agitators and others conspired to oh so nearly overthrow the government. If they sound like clichés now it’s because they have been appropriated by every flavour of punk, anticapitalist and radical and also diluted and recuperated by advertising and the mass media.

Like all the most interesting movements the situationists were gloriously messy and inherently contradictory – talking about everyday revolution in elitist language and riddled with internal schisms – but they were passionate, sexy, mischievous and wise.
Audience member: ‘Can you explain what situationism is all about?’
Guy Debord: ‘We’re not here to answer cuntish questions’
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 1961

In answering this cuntish question, some unraveling needs to be done. The situationists were anti-capitalist: they were against work and looked to play and spontaneity as the cornerstones necessary to modern life. As they saw it, modernity, limited work and relative abundance, city planning and the welfare state produced not happiness, but depression and boredom.

Boredom to the situationists was a modern phenomenon, a modern form of control. With God missing (presumed dead), people felt their condition not exactly as a fact but simply as a fatalism, devoid of meaning, which separated every man and woman from each other

They sought to understand that
moment when people gain insight into the alienated patterns of their everyday lives, prompting the question: ‘I’m not happy- what’s wrong with me?’ In a new world of unlimited leisure each individual might construct a new life just as in the old world a few privileged artists had constructed their representations of what life could be. It was this desire that drove 25 year old Guy Debord to gather artists and writers avant-garde into the Situationist International.

From Situationism and Rock
by Paul Fitzpatrick (Perfect Sound Forever October 2000)


Key terms (very briefly and clumsily explained by me)

The Spectacle Modern cities are constructed as a series of spectacles, created by authority and the mass media to dazzle and control. Disrupting the spectacle and reclaiming the city – and our lives – are key to the situtionist manifesto. Overthrowing the capital system will create a revolution of every day life which we can experience in an unmediated and non-hierarchical way

The SI (Situationist Internationale) see picture was formed in 1957 and was a fusion of members of several smaller groups all interested in the avant gaurde, radical Marxist politics, dissolving the barriers between art and life and rejecting dogma. The key theorist was Guy Debord. Members included Alexander Trocchi, Ralph Rumney, Michele Bernstein, Raoul Vaneigem and others

Detournement – the act and art of: turning the system’s images against them (literally divert.

Recouperation: the dominant hegemony appropriating radical art and neutering its power

Psychogeography: Debord defined it as‘ the study of the precise effects of geographical setting on the emotions and behavior of individuals.’ It includes both objective and subjective views of the city Later, Will Self said psychogeographers are ‘glorified local history buffs’ The concept has evolved and the LRM definition consists of a Venn diagram you can find throughout our literature

Derive or Drift – the practice of aimlessly wandering through the city, abandoning usual restrictions and experiencing all is glory and horror. It’s a key tool in psychogeography

A Flaneur is described by Baudelaire as a "gentleman stroller of city streets", the notion influneced the development of psychogeography and streches back a long way. Despite not being a gentleman I consider being a flaneur my vocation.

Inspired? There are many situationist resources on the web. The original texts and much else can be found here at and there’s some interesting articles at

bored in the city? don't be anymore, they are back!

I was pleasantly surprised to recieve an email from old friends and comrades at Bored in the City. Having been silent for some time it's good to have them back.

We first crossed paths many years ago when i was foolishly handed a megaphone at a demo against something or other (i am not being flippant but my memory is playing tricks; I know i was wearing a big pink ball gown and there was a free market... i suspect it was buy nothing day which in retrospect always had a muddled but good hearted message) anyhow i was enticing people with vegan cake when Mr Bored approached with bag of photocopied flyers Urbis would not let him distribute and uttered the immortal greeting 'so, are you a situationist then? I've been looking for you...'

That message then in full:

The Bored in the City Collective will be doing psychogeographical drifts around the streets of Manchester and we invite people to join us to make sense of the city and to creatively imagine what cities of the future could look like. We will be conducting a series of drifts across the city centre doing things like using maps of Cairo and New York to walk around Manchester, using dice to determine where we will go and generally enjoying getting lost in the city!

We will be meeting under the Queen Victoria Statue at Piccadilly Gardens at 11am on 11 Jan, 24 Jan, 8 Feb and 21 Feb in 2009.

Bored in the City and friends will be undertaking a psychogeographical investigation of Manchester in order to understand urban space and to question and challenge the capitalist order of things. It is a further aim to produce some writings of the investigations conducted and those that would like to be involved should contact

The Bored in the City Collective are a group of curious people interested in wandering around cities and range from flaneurs, artists, activists, theorists and other people. We're a friendly bunch and we like to meet new people, so do join us :)

There will be further information at

The emoticon is entirely BitCs own and proof I do not edit contributions to this blog. A central revelation of the aforementioned The How Yellow is Manchester tour, and a point illustrated by The Yellow Paper was about the diversity of (dis)organised trails around our city and how walking is central to understanding our city; personally i'd add that a variety of voices makes for a far richer psychic landscape too. I have had my differences with BitC but frankly that's part of the fun; from philosophical disagreement comes imaginative evolution and we have spent many a happy pint debating both the sacred and profane in psychogeography.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

new news

The LRM have been in the news - thanks Natalie (and congratulations on transforming my ramblings into something coherant!),_Manchester

there's also another interview here, it's quite old but still relevant. It was the first time anyone asked me about the LRM and i was dead happy, although my ego was dented when i realised i'd been mistaken for a man (a rant on gender and geogrpahy coming soon)

The next LRM event will be a planning meeting / general social / moonlit derive on November 25th, more details coming soon along with how YOU - yes you, wherever you are - can help make LRM history on December 7th