second psychogeographic expedition organized by Wilfried
Houjebek. It took place on Saturday 30 November. At 17:00
we gathered at the Gallery Room, Benthuizerstraat 96b.
Wilfried explains the rules for this
psychogeographic session. This walk will be
"interactive". If two teams meet they
will exchange algorithms. I received the
following instruction :
First right - Second left - First left
I started in a random direction
- North. Then at this crossing I took the first
right into the Zaagmolenstraat.
I followed the Zaagmolenstraat
along this second hand bookshop. This is homage
to my favourite writer Boudewijn Büch who died
on this same weekend.
Second left into
the Tochtstraat. The road was blocked here so I
followed the right turn.
Wilgenstraat - I tried to hide
the camera from plain view. These are not the
best neighbourhoods in Rotterdam.
First right - wrong!
Vletstraat. I made a mistake and I skipped the
"first left" turn. I didn't notice it
then - I see it now with the map in front of me
Second left. Took
me into the Snellmanstraat and along the mosque. First left.
I didn't see the guy on the
bicycle coming, but he apologized as he zoomed
past me. I didn't really see him, but my camera
did. A busy crossing, streetlights you can read a
Zaagmolendrift. Bridge over the river Rotte.
Looking South, towards the city center. Not so
busy anymore. No bright lights. All the
passers-by looked like shady characters.
left over the bridge. Linker Rottekade. First left.Crooswijksebocht.
The police were talking to some youths on
Because it was
getting darker I started to notice the small -
private - lights. Like this illuminated entrance.
And I started to notice the lit
interiors. People watching television and making
phone calls at the same time. I was leaving the
busy parts of the city and entering an island of
Most houses were
showing their kitchens. No curtains, everything
plainly visible. I was afraid they would come
into the room and see me.
Crooswijksebocht I came upon the back entrance of
the cemetery. The gate was decorated with the
instruments of the Grim Reaper - the hourglass
and the scythe.
I should come back here on one
of my ghost-hunting trips. This evening the place
felt quiet and homely. The people living in the
gate-house were making dinner, and their kitchen
was lit, like all the others.
On the other side was a long row
of house-boats. A car stopped, and it's
headlights lit up the ornamental potted trees.
entrances to the house-boats were brightly lit.
Out of pride or for security? All the people had
Christmas lights in the gardens.
At this point I should have
turned first right
into the Boezembocht, but I cheated. The official
route would have taken me into the Kralingen city
park and towards Ommoord.
So I took first left instead. I walked
along the Gordelweg and the took second left into
Here I saw these romantic
deserted houses. I took first right and entered the
Soetendaalse Plein. At night this looked and felt
Then a long hike
along the other side of the Rotte in search for a
left turn. I passed brightly lit porn cinema's
and cafés. Dark garages, pumping stations and
Soetendaalse Kade - Zwaanshals.
A youth on a bicycle applied his brakes too
abruptly and he made a spectacular headfirst dive
into the pavement. He wasn't hurt, but his lamp
was broken. Second
Zwaanshalskade. Looking into one of the side
alleys. And again a clear view into all the
different kitchens. I couldn't resist to invade
the people's privacy.
Then I had to get back. The prescribed 60
minutes were over.
On the way back along more
mosques, open doors leading into storage areas
for shoes. Then sport accommodations, dark
squares, Thai foot-massage parlors and more lit
interiors with TV screens. People working behind
Finally back into the Zaagmolenstraat.
A final meeting in front of the gallery. It
was closed by now so we gathered on the sidewalk
and exchanged impressions.
Not many teams had
met each other. So there were not many exchanges
I talked with an artist who made pictures of
traffic accidents from his living room - he lived
above an accident-rich crossing. And a video of
exploding heads. Then I had to go home to make