“The nineteenth century demanded the functional specialization of man and his work. this specialization makes one individual incomparable to another …, however, this specialization makes each man the more directly dependent upon the supplementary activities of all others” (Simmel, 1903). Surveillance strategies were enacted to negotiate pay or to track wages. This dictated the impersonal ordering of the clock, engendering feelings of alienation as the individual perceived themselves different from, yet the same as, their co-workers, yet had no room to explore this difference.
Explorations into this mechanized realm produced the phantasmagorical, characterized by fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtapositions. Through this imagery of the Dada, Surrealism and Letterism movements, the Situationists Movement arose, providing “their critique of modern culture, their celebration of creativity, and their stress on the immediate transformation of everyday life” (Marshall, 2000). ‘Everyday’ life, they maintain, deadens the mind into numb acceptance, while exploration of the surreal awakens subjectivity. This led to the concept of psychogeography as part of the system of unitary urbanism or “the study of specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals” (Situationnise Internationale, 1958).