City Diary

2013-ongoing

drawings, artist book 

“City Diary” is my long-term ongoing research project based on my observation of cities (Berlin, Seoul, New York). It can be consider as a play. It takes an inspiration from the Situationist’s psychogeography, which combines subjective and objective knowledge and studies and considers architecture as the simplest means of articulating time and space, of modulating reality, of engendering dreams.
“City diary” consists of subjective analysis of ephemeral moments, invisible images and spontaneous situations generated through the urban reality/urban relativity. Each page relates to specific location and specific time, but in fact it relates to any location and any time. It states that one city can be present in any other city. It consist of drawings, maps, urban plans, collages poems and comments.

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Some details are noticeable, you can find references to Berlin, Seoul, New York and Warsaw. City Diary contains a huge number of drawings, texts, poems. At some point I started to intertwine them and I broke the linear nature of the diary. So it could be called an anti-diary. I noticed that I can use the collected material to create a kind of cognitive maps, to work like Aby Warburg on Mnemosyne. And indeed, if you do that, the specific character of the place is blurred, it does not matter in what city I am. What I do is reflect on the universality of the city and my subjective geography in it. Initially City Diary was an ordinary notebook, but now I would like to develop this theme continuously. So that time and space are blurred, leaving room for an individual topography of the city. Currently I focus on introspection, while my earlier projects were based on studying places according to an pre-conceived methodology.
To gain access to certain situations, you need a specific sensitivity, it is a quite romantic concept, but then I was not yet aware of this complication. Now I focus on a subjective identification of the space around me. I started to travel a lot and perhaps this led me to create a kind of island for myself. Like the eponymous hero of the film Citizen Kane by Orson Welles, who travelled around the world, but always stayed in a similar room. I think that through City Diary I try to return to “myself”, for it is the only safe ground in such diverse environments. In exploring the city through psychogeography I see certain references to the Situationist Movement. In the beginning I acted very spontaneously, now I see the relationships.