There's a review here
of that collection of Patrick Keiller essays "The View from the Train: Cities and Other Landscapes". One of the things it talks about a lot is the dérive
"The idea that the dérive
, an apparently aimless progress across cities and their environs, might in and of itself be destructive of a certain kind of urban space - the space commoditised by late capitalism - was intrinsic to Situationist practice and remains so for Keiller's project."
I was wondering what that means exactly. I don't have the collection but I have read "Imaging", the essay that features the North London line, where Keiller measures some of his excursions around London against the idea of the dérive
. His examples aren't aimless but they do have unanticipated results. So a bicycle trip along Harrow Road towards Harlesden to look for a place seen from a train a few days earlier leads to him finding the place but also to him making his first film.
is a Situationist idea. Unfortunately Auckland Libraries' only copy of the "Situationist International Anthology" was due last September, so instead I looked at "Critiques of Everyday Life", which has this quotation from the anthology written in the late 1960's,
"slipping by night into houses undergoing demolition, hitchhiking nonstop and without destination through Paris during a transportation strike in the name of adding to the confusion, wandering in subterranean catacombs forbidden to the public etc - are expressions of a more general sensibility which is nothing other than that of the dérive
In "Bedfont Court Estate", an essay in another collection, Nick Papadimitriou attempts to visit Perry Oaks, a sludge disposal works on the western edge of Heathrow Airport, but finds that it's become the building site for a fifth passenger terminal. Nearby he comes across the estate of the title, a group of derelict farmhouses. Papadimitriou doesn't mention the dérive
but as with Keiller's examples there's an unexpected result, finding the building site and the estate, and this time there's also an element of entering a restricted space since there are trespass signs and airport security and he's detained briefly by armed police.
And that's as far as I've got. Now I'm going to have another look at the north London excursions in "SCARP".