In 1958 the French social theorist, Guy Debord, wrote this;
In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there. Chance is a less important factor in this activity than one might think: from a dérive point of view cities have psychogeographical contours, with constant currents, fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones.
Dérive translate roughly, from the French, to “drift.” The ideas behind many of Debord, and his cohort, The Situationists, have been firmly, if not menacingly, adopted within the market place. We “drift” around the mall, finding pathways from one shop to the next as if by accident, pinballs within the machine of commerce. To many, familiar with Situationist thought or otherwise, these concepts will ring true.
With this in mind, what might occur when one decides to “close up shop,” leave the marketplace to go on a walk, not destination in mind, around ones neighborhood? To continue with the “theory of the dérive,” where will the neighborhood take you?
As the weather has turned in Minnesota, and Beyond Repair is, at heart, compelled to listen to what the its neighborhood is saying (as well as respond in return), it seems only fitting to complicate, yet again, our role as “business” within the market place, here at the Midtown Global Market. What are we selling at Beyond Repair if not reading as an act of critical and social engagement. And so, we are compelled out into the streets, reading the sidewalks and alleyways to consider the thoughts of the 9th Ward.
In time, as ever, something will come of it; a broadside, a series of chats around the table in the shop, a new way of looking / talking about where we live together, a breathe of fresh air…