Here is a video from Beunos Aires, Argentina that has been taking the web by storm. It shares close resemblance to the Situationist concept dérive, meaning to walk about almost aimlessly through a city in such a way that re-contextualizes its urban environments. I particularly like the video’s time-lapse feel to it, the way the clouds drift over so quickly, while the stop-action motions in the scene are in reality moving quite slowly. This time-lapsed way of contextualizing the urban environment takes the Situationist ideas even further in such a way that surpasses the original, space-bound Situationism of Paris at the time – the 1960s.
But using the dimension of time to re-contextualize the city seemed to always rely on something else, like a camera, or a novel. If you read Eugene Ionesco‘s The Hermit, there is a particularly piquant moment when the protagonist, a hermit, re-contextualizes his Parisian urban environment by experiencing a strange flow of Paris’s historical events. As if he were truly present during the French Revolution, when he is re-awakened, he walks around the city seeing it in a completely new and different way. This particularly Situationist theme of the novel, and partly of this video, is that history is always present in the spaces that we live.