Menil Derive

The Situationists altered the role of walking in the urban environment, shifting aimless drifting or dreamlike wanderings into a socio-political act. The Situationists conducted dérives, described as “a mode of experimental behavior linked to the conditions of urban society; a technique of transient passages through various ambiances.” The role of the city is reexamined. The Surrealist dream city is replaced with a playful, spontaneous city. The Situationists encouraged breaking rules and inventing your own activities free from socio-cultural restrictions, to design aesthetic and revolutionary actions that undermine or elude social control.” (Careri 106)

Mimicking their practice, my group and I composed a Derive of the Menil Collection in Houston, TX. The concept of our Derive was to highlight the points that the Menil collection has created within its neighboring community. Each person on the tour was given a card (designed as the Menil) with one word printed on the back of it. Those words were Community, Culture, and Notable. With the designated word, the tourist would then record a 20-second video clip of their perception of their word within the Menil community. With the collection of video clips, my group and I will design a video composition of the walk from the perspectives of the tourist.

Breaking responsibilities into parts, I took the role of designing the handout material along with developing the narrative for the tour. 

 

Menil Derive

Collected Videos

Cue Cards + Instructions.

Amira Maruf © 2020