Presentation: Guy Debord – Theory of the Dérive

On: October 11, 2006
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About Anne Helmond
Anne Helmond is Assistant Professor of New Media and Digital Culture and Program Director of the MA New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam. She is a member of the Digital Methods Initiative research collective where she focuses her research on the infrastructure of social media platforms and apps. Her research interests include digital methods, software studies, platform studies, app studies, infrastructure studies and web history.


In my presentation about Guy Debord’s article Theory of the Dérive I would like to argue that the current trend of Urban Exploring is based on the dérive, but that it differs from it on the following levels:

  1. The accent lies on normally inaccessible place whereas the dérive is usually based on accessible places.
  2. The accent on normally inaccessible places has the consequence of it often becoming an illegal practice. The dérive is in that sense quite innocent.
  3. In Urban Exploring there is a big emphasis on recording the urban exploration by filming or photographing it.

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