Wael Kodeih: the theory of dérive and augmented reality

Wael Kodeih

December 9, 2013 11:00 am

“One of the basic situationist practices is the dérive [literally: “drifting”], a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiances. Dérives involve playful-constructive behavior and awareness of psychogeographical effects, and are thus quite different from the classic notions of journey or stroll.” Guy ESnet Debord, les lèvres nues, December 9, 1956

The dérive consists of traveling through urban space in an aleatory manner. One’s subjectivity is the central element. The dérive allows one to discover a metaphorical dimension to a space, and bestow it with a poetic value.

However, going on a dérive in the city is not a neutral practice. On the one hand, a dérive consists of a tool to get to know bits of the city and to experiment with one’s emotions within it. On the other, it allows for a criticism of urban society and its spatial anchorage, constituting as such a subversive project.

Guy Debord’s text “theory of the dérive” will lay the foundation for this workshop. The dérive which we will take will also involve the notion of ‘augmented reality.’

“All cities are geological, and we cannot take three steps without encountering ghosts, armed with the might of their legends. We evolve in a closed-off landscape, where landmarks pull us incessantly toward the past.” Gilles ivain (1958)

Wael Kodeih was born in nabatieh, Lebanon in 1979. He holds a master of professional studies in applied arts from the academie libanaise des beaux arts (alba), a post-diploma from the ecole nationale superieure des arts deco (ensad) in atelier de recherche interactive, and a master 2 of research in contemporary art and new media from the université de Paris viii. Since 2002, Wael goes by the pseudonym “rayess bek,” one of the major performers of hip hop and urban music from the Arab world. Wael is an author, composer, and interpreter, who has released seven albums and performed more than 300 concerts worldwide. He also participates in residence programs in creative writing in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East, where he gets the chance to meets and learns from such artists as Rudolph burger, frank Fitzpatrick, and miles Copeland. In 2012, Wael produced goodbye schlöndorff, an audio-visual performance that combines intimate messages that were recorded on cassettes and sent to loved ones in times of war, with short sequences from the film circle of deceit and its making-of directed by Volker schlöndorff.

This workshop is open to sound artists, musicians, writers, photographers, video makers, visual artists, animators, and students in the arts.