Note: The following excerpts have been taken from the full text of Reluctantgod's essay, Psychogeography: Introducing the Zone and the March-riever, which introduces a new approach to the field of Psychogeography. It can be downloaded in .pdf format here. The full text details what sets this approach apart from those that came before it, taking care to distinguish it from the characterization of the Edgelands. It is highly recommended reading for psychogeographers, photographers, urban wanderers, and anyone who shares a deep reverence for abandoned places.
"The Zone is a different type of place in between; it is given definition as the border between man’s fading influence and the return of nature. An abandoned structure’s proximity to the urban center is of little importance, so long as it is representative of the magic that is derived from the beautiful interplay between mankind’s abandoned efforts and nature’s resurgence."
"The march-riever is one who seeks out this border and explores its many possibilities, utilizing a slow, measured approach that pays reverence to the unknown forces and dangers within and allows time for mysterious elements to be revealed to the careful eye."
"The Zone requires no special knowledge, no historical expertise. The experience itself is paramount, not synchronizing the present with the energies of the past. In the march-riever’s approach, one does not seek to be pulled into the past. Rather, one seeks to see and experience the Zone for what it is now, a place in which nature has begun to reclaim the landscape from man."
"The Zone remains abandoned, as tree branches extend through broken windows, grass shoots up from cracks in the floor, and the frames of decaying structures eventually collapse."
"Physical decay and any number of other dangers represent a threat to your life. This, combined with our human experience of time coming face to face with the slow wheels of eternity, as is exemplified through erosion, collapse, and the resurgence of nature, facilitates contemplation of one’s mortality. There is a great beauty in understanding ourselves in this context, and it requires slowing down and taking each step with care."
"Our own lives and influence are finite, and places such as these allow us to engage and make peace with this fact, while also allowing us to dive headlong into the mysteries surrounding the debris we find there."
"By slowing down, employing all of one’s senses, measuring the behavior of the landscape against one’s expectations, and taking each step as if it could lead to life-threatening consequences, the explorer not only averts many of the unexpected and unforgiving dangers of abandoned and decaying structures, but dramatically increases the odds of encountering aspects of the landscape that would otherwise remain unseen."
"Though the slow collapse of architecture may present physical obstacles to the exploration of the Zone, sunlight pouring in through new cracks and tears reveals paths to access treasures previously concealed from view."
"The march-riever is keen to the way that the time-dependent effects of the sun modify the appearance of the landscape, and the march-riever uses this awareness to facilitate choice in his or her path. Light cuts novel paths through the Zone by virtue of the way that it is selectively cast upon landmarks and architecture."
"To the photographer, a reliance on solar cues is second nature, whether it is done subconsciously or with active awareness and effort. By utilizing photography in his or her treks, the explorer cultivates a mindset that is attuned to the time-dependent effects of the sun and comes away with a lasting record of what he or she encountered."
"As a vehicle for an unfolding narrative, instant film photographs are raw, mysterious, and unpredictable. No other form of photography so effectively pulls the artist into the process of illumination and discovery and makes him or her so directly a part of the story."
"The film is a perfect counterpart to the character of the Zone, its beauty derived from the magical interaction between a special chemistry, unpredictable variables, and mysterious possibilities come to life."
"The most intriguing places for exploration are those that are littered with a history of our failures; yet offer a glimpse of the mysterious, eternal forces acting beyond us. As much as the Zone is somewhere dark secrets may be uncovered, it is also a place that continually reflects our nature."
"The Zone may be the location most capable of facilitating reflection upon our own lives and place in the universe, considering the juxtaposition of the specter of man’s influence with the timeless beauty of nature that is in the process of reclaiming our abandoned structures. It is such a place, a place in between, that you connect with your inner life and locate the greatest insights into who and what you are."