Andrew Ellis, MFA ’11


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Name: Andrew Ellis

Graduation: 2011

Program: MFA

This project explores the urban landscape through algorithmic walking and photography. Each participant (over thirty people) was asked to walk the following directions from any starting point in their city: 1) walk west 2) take your first right 3) take your first left 4) take your first right 5) stop. These were the only restrictions. A participant was then encouraged to take photographs at any point along their walk. Some of the cities covered were: Boston, Paris, Auckland, Santiago de Chile, and Tokyo.

The project was inspired by the French philosopher Guy Debord whose theory of psychogeography was to “[invent] strategies for exploring cities…just about anything that takes pedestrians off their predictable paths and jolts them into a new awareness of the urban landscape.” (Debord) In this project I hoped to create a new way for a person to explore their surroundings by restricting their walk where the result—or point B rather—would be an area or place they would not normally have reached or already explored. The result was a psychogeographical tour of different cities and perspectives.


Keywords: community, mapping, narrative, photography, psychogeography, urban landscape, walking