Psychogegraphy walk - Autumn 2002
The 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 Bch 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. Zwaanshals.  
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 book by. First right. 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.
Second left over the bridge. Linker Rottekade. First left.Crooswijksebocht. The police were talking to some youths on scooters. 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 quiet. Most houses were showing their kitchens. No curtains, everything plainly visible. I was afraid they would come into the room and see me.

Following the 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. The ornamental 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 the Soetendaalsestraat.

Here I saw these romantic deserted houses. I took first right and entered the Soetendaalse Plein. At night this looked and felt like Paris. 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 cafs. Dark garages, pumping stations and funeral parlours.
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 left. Fabriekstraat. First left. 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 their PC.

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 of algorithms.

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 dinner.

Border crossings
Deserted Buildings
Urban Adventure Home
Petr Kazil 22/12/2002