Qantas Jet, flying home

I've only got this long left in Australia:
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Dérive, Melbourne Photos

February 13, 2006 – 7:22 pm

One of my favorite concepts to explore, especially while travelling, is dérive. It’s the idea that you can experience a place better exploring it by whim, impulse, and curiosity. It’s urban zen.

Sadie Plant, the situationist, wrote:

to dérive was to notice the way in which certain areas, streets, or buildings resonate with states of mind, inclinations, and desires, and to seek out reasons for movement other than those for which an environment was designed. It was very much a matter of using an environment for one’s own ends, seeking not only the marvellous beloved by surrealism but bringing an inverted perspective to bear on the entirety of the spectacular world.”

I was taught this fascinating concept by a very personally influential individual: Aaron Ximm. He goes by the alias Quiet American, and his hobby is listening to things. Check the notes of “Circumlocution” on (one of my favorite ambient albums) Vox Americana to understand his unique approach.

My approach, since my beloved bionic microphones are out of service, has been to wander the city armed with a fickle but lucky camera. Now I am not a photographer—but I do watch carefully. And I’ve got a Flickr pro account. That, my experience has been, is enough to compensate.

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