Modernism – links with psychogeography and derive and history

Psychogeography is seen as a utopian state as the cities are created into a surrealist place where surrealists and the Situationist Internationals (SI) can go. Modernism is about the constant innovation of art and the conservative values are basically rejected. Societies believe that modernism is about progress and that any basic human life needs the progress to continue to survive (Tate, n.d.).

People believe that modernism started in the 1860s and the painter Edouard Manet was the first one of the modernist painters. His Olypmia and Luncheon on the Grass were considered modernist because he was interested in exploring new subjects. This meant exploring different values and having different spatial relationships (Witcombe, n.d.). This can be linked in with the study of psychogeography and especially derive and the ‘drifting’ through different places to identify the new spaces and seeing what new you can find. As psychogeography is to do with raising awareness of the natural and cultural space around you (‘Psychogeography’, 2009), it can be seen with the modernist work of Manet, of him painting the nature and the naked women, which back then was considered very different from the basic art that was being done (Witcombe, n.d.).

Modernism can often identify its links with rationalization and the speed on how technology and other things are moving forward. It is also again linked in with psychogeograpghy and the Situationist International because modernism is about making of new places sand instead of having the only perception of it being linked with ‘art’, it is the link that it has with ‘life’ and the reformation of things around us. Modernism is politically radical and is sort of against politics because it wouldn’t follow the conventional views. It includes the idea that Fascism is a way of socially relating to others (Armstrong, 2005). As the Situationist International was sort of the surrealist group (Debord, 1957 translated by Knabb, K.), because they were different, modernism can link in to the fact that it all was radical (the psychogeography and derive) because it wasn’t done before.

In today’s society modernism sort of links in more with the idea of psychogeography and self exploring. We have the freedom of experimenting and seeing what is happening around us and taking that longer route just to follow your own senses. Modernism was more focused on art before the 50s and 60s before psychogeography was created because art was the way of freedom and exploration, and showing the freedom to others. It can be seen in Jackson Pollocks’s work as he let his paint on the canvas just drip and create its own way on the paper (Whyte, 2013) just like if you took a stroll around an urban environment and ended up wherever the aesthetics took you


Armstrong, T. (2005) Modernism: A Cultural History, Google Books. Polity. Available at: (Accessed: 6 March 2015).

Debord , G. (1957) Report on the Construction of Situations and on the International Situationist Tendency’s Conditions of Organization and Action . Available at: (Accessed: 6 March 2015).

‘Psychogeography’ (2009) Mapping Weird Stuff. Mapping Weird Stuff, 14 June. Available at: (Accessed: 6 March 2015).

Tate (no date) Modernism, Tate . Available at: (Accessed: 5 March 2015).

Whyte, C. (2013) ‘Modernism and Post-modernism in today’s society! ’, Design and Technology throughout the Ages. Colm Whyte – Design and Technology throughout the Ages, 9 January. Available at: (Accessed: 6 March 2015).

Witcombe, C. L. C. E. (no date) Modernism: The Roots of Modernism, Art History Resources . Available at: (Accessed: 6 March 2015).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s