what is citydrift?

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citydrift is a replicable meta-event qua group installation/art discourse composed loosely in different measures on Guy Debord’s Situationist concept of the derive or drift, Jan Hoet’s 1986 project in Ghent, Chambres D’Amis, and Colin DeLand’s playful reconfiguration of art fair paradigms with his “Gramercy Hotel” model. Replicable, because it is designed as something that can be reproduced in some variant fashion in different cities over time. Meta-event, because it is not exactly an exhibition, nor strictly speaking simply an art event, rather the concept is to be understood as a collective enterprise that brings together various strains of non-traditional art practices, organized under the operative philosophical umbrella of the derive.

The result is a walking exploration of the environment, outside of any normative understanding of movement (traveling to work, shop, appointments…). It encourages reinvestigation of overlooked areas (stairways, sidewalks, alleyways…) It is an attempt to reclaim, if only briefly, a place for art outside the universal sphere of commerce. Finally, the purpose of citydrift is not to claim some hidden knowledge of a city, but to “tease’ out newer understandings using all possible modalities, and viewpoints from both inside the art culture of a place, as well as those working in similar fashion outside of that place. citydrift is in some ways an organizational fiction or conceit that ultimately seeks, at its core, only to establish that the way we understand art is inextricably linked to the way we experience it—so much so that, on closer view, it becomes quite hard to draw a concrete distinction between the thing being observed and the self that is experiencing it.