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Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City (Anglais) Relié – 8 octobre 2013

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse


“Urban exploration is... a way of renegotiating reality, transforming the moment, turning the city into a video game. Except that, in this game, you only have one life.”—Evening Standard

"A unique and electrifying travelogue … Garrett and his fellow travelers are as fit, agile and fearless as ninja."—Booklist, Starred Review

“For Garrett, physical exploration is merely the outward manifestation of a deeper philosophical inquiry. The theoretical DNA of much of his work traces back to the concept of 'psychogeography.'"—GQ

“An absorbing read … Recommended for travel and modern history readers."—Library Journal

Biographie de l'auteur

Bradley L Garrett is a writer, photographer and researcher in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. After studying anthropology at the University of California, Riverside and working in Australia, Mexico and Hawaii as an archaeologist, Brad became an urban explorer, photographing off-limits urban spaces in the UK, Europe and America. His exploits have been featured in GQ Magazine, the Guardian, the Red Bulletin, and on TV and radio around the world.
Details of his recent research and media projects and a list of current publications can be found at www.bradleygarrett.com. 

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Amazon.com: 10 commentaires
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Fascinating 24 octobre 2013
Par Pete Carron - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Fascinating! I had no idea that such a pursuit existed. The book kept me on the edge of my seat, reading of all the explorers' (often dangerous) adventures. The author is to be commended for his bravery, accomplishments (even though most were illegal) and great photography. I have only two negative comments about the book.

Number one, this is the first book I've ever read in which the paper the book was printed on was so thick that it was a constant struggle to hold the book open! No fault of the author of course, but I feel it was definitely a shortcoming of the publisher.

Second, much of the book was filled with philosophical comments on the subject of urban exploration. Nothing wrong with that of course, except for the fact that I had difficulty understanding many of those comments. For example, here's one: ‟Despite its weavings into the mythologies of the sublime, urban exploration is not an escape from or a transcendence of the physical, but a challenge to the very boundaries of deeply embodied substance dualisms.‟ Huh?? Other than (far too many) things like that, a worthwhile read.
4 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Reflective and Engaging Look at Urban Exploration 18 octobre 2013
Par Ivan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I found out about this book when The Atlantic published a set of pictures from Bradley Garrett's blog. Although I am not an urban explorer myself, I have always been very curious about this concept and the pictures looked fascinating enough for me to follow through and purchase Garrett's book.

At a high level, the book describes the author's experience as an ethnographer doing research on the urban exploration (UE) community as well as being its very active participant. The narrative is a combination of Garrett's various adventures and deep reflections on the general philosophy of UE.

From his adventures I found these the most interesting:

1.Descriptions of social dynamics and politics of various UE groups that compete and cooperate with each other

2.Exploration of the abandoned and disused London Tube stations

3.Adventure in discovery and investigation of the London Mail Rail system

4.Garrett's time spent with UE group in Minnesota, helping chart various underground tunnels underneath the Twin Cities

While Garrett's various UE adventures are certainly interesting in it of themselves, I think the key strength of the book lays in his healthy dose of reflection, introspection, and philosophizing that is intertwined into every exploit. Here, he deeply delves into numerous issues:

1.UE ethics - what does it mean to leave no trace behind? how forceful to be when entering a place? how to approach abandoned and derelict places when they are used by the indigent and the homeless for shelter

2.The ethos of UE - the difference between a controlled "museum like" interaction with history and present environment vs. a non-scripted, open ended, and non-linear approach of UE. The freedom to be able to take personal risks without being smothered by an overly safety conscious society. Being able to truly connect and build a relationship with one's city of residence through the exploration of all the spaces and environments that it has to offer.

3.The problems of publicizing one's UE exploits - on the one hand wanting to share the fascinating pictures of the unknown and the forgotten places with the world, on the other hand drawing the attention of the authorities to the whole UE community and making it more difficult for other explorers to access these sites

4.Describing the culture of UE to the lay audience without homogenizing a very diverse set of individuals, and becoming an unwanted spokesperson for the entire community

Since I am not an urban explorer, my sense prior to reading this book was that UE was akin to self directed, amateur archeology. Something that is driven by trying to reconstruct the past lives and interacting with the histories of the abandoned and derelict places in an unconstrained fashion. While that may be partially true for some urban explorers, this book really expanded this view for me. It showed, that for a lot of the people in the UE community, it's really about, as the title implies, the challenge of conquering the environment and solving puzzles in an urban setting. This could be figuring out how to gain entry into a specific place, charting a map of some underground tunnel/subway system, capturing all the elements of a particular system, or just simply beating out another group of people to some unexplored site. Given their drive to discover & chart, push boundaries, and seek novelty, it seems that modern day urban explorers are people in the same mold of Victorian era explorers such as Henry Stanley and David Livingstone.

While I ultimately give it 5 stars, the book has a few gaps in my opinion. Since Garrett's life as an urban explorer served as the foundation of his PhD thesis in ethnography, I was surprised that he doesn't comment more about this dynamic. I understand that this book is largely about UE itself, but it would have been really interesting to learn more about what his academic colleagues and his advisors thought about the way he was conducting this research.

While he does touch on this towards the end of the book, I would have also liked to see a little more commentary about blurring the line between one's own lifestyle and academic research. Given Garrett's affinity for UE lifestyle, it seems that this is something he would have been involved in regardless of his academic career. It just so happened that he was able to parlay his personal interest into furthering his academic career. Also, while the ambiguity between participant and observer in ethnography is a common occurrence, it seems that in Garrett's case, given his intense involvement into the UE cultural scene, he almost fully created his own experiences to document and explore. He is certainly very well aware of these issues and does touch on them in some way, but I just wish it was explored a little bit more.

So, to summarize, this is a very thoughtful and involved look at urban exploration. In addition to some really interesting stories and anecdotes about specific adventures, I think the biggest value of this book is really in its reflective and engaging examination of the UE culture, ethos, and it's place in the modern society. I would certainly recommend this book to any curious reader.
22 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
spare me 4 janvier 2014
Par C. P. Anderson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Urban exploration is a fascinating topic. Who hasn’t wanted to check out the underground tunnels that run beneath their city; the old abandoned factories or schools or hospitals; the construction sites; the junk yards … I mean, there’s got to be more than a little 14-year-old boy in all of us, right?

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of urban exploration in this book. Yes, there are some great pictures and the hints of some great stories. But it seems to be only a small part of what’s there.

So, what do we get instead? How about lots of lots of rather pretentious academese. Now, don’t forget to add in a healthy dose of self-regarding hipsterism too. Finally, let’s top it all off with some faux-daring rebellion. And that’s your book.

Don’t believe me? Here, try this paragraph on for size:

“By sneaking into places they’re not supposed to be, photographing them and sharing those exploits with the world, explorers are recoding people’s normalized relationship to city space. It is both a celebration and a protest. It is a melding, a fusing of the individual and the city, of what is allowed and what is possible. Urban explorers make it clear that the city is not as secure as some may suggest and that, more importantly, by undertaking risks to probe those boundaries, one can create opportunities for creativity, discovery, and friendship, and even uncover the places and histories that those in power would prefer remained hidden.”

Honestly, couldn’t we all just trespass and enjoy these places without all this preening and pretention? You gotta admit it, they are kinda cool.
3 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
On going where you're not supposed to go 4 novembre 2013
Par Paul Mastin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Does everyone have a longing to go past those "restricted entry" signs, "authorized access only" barriers, the "no trespassing"signs? Maybe not everyone, but it seems like there is a basic human desire to cross boundaries, to explore unknown and forbidden places, and to find untouched locations. However, most of us, either out of respect for private property and the rule of law, or out of timidity and caution, stay safely within prescribed boundaries.

Bradley Garrett, a researcher at the Oxford University School of Geography and the Environment, spent several years hanging out with urban explorers, guys (mostly guys; there are a few female urban explorers), sneaking into closed down buildings, sewers, abandoned Tube stations, construction sites, skyscrapers, and other closed off and forbidden locations. He tells the stories of their adventures, discoveries, and misadventures in Explore Everything: Place-Hakcing the City.

For Garrett and his UE buddies, urban exploration, or place-hacking, is not a juvenile thrill-seeking, but "taking back rights to the city from which we have been wrongfully restricted," protesting the "increased securitisation"of public places, about "going places you're not supposed to go, seeing places you're not supposed to see." They see urban exploration as a "more tantalising option"than "the mall and the television screen," and a way to find alternatives to "state-mediated historical interpretation."

One the one hand, Garrett's tales of UE make me curious, not just about the places he visits, but about my own city as well. What might I discover underground, or in some abandoned buildings, or in a construction site? How difficult would it be to on top of Fort Worth's tallest buildings? On the other hand, I believe that private property should be respected, that liability in the case of injury of death should be acknowledged, and that sometimes doors are locked and "No trespassing" signs are there for a very good reason.

Garrett does take pains to point out that urban explorers do not damage property, do not steal from or vandalize places they hack, and as a rule follow a "leave no trace" ethic similar to hikers. The one thing they do take is a lot of pictures. The pictures are awesome, mostly from the tops of buildings or underground. They looked OK on my basic kindle, but I would encourage to get the physical book, view them on a color reader, or visit his web site ([...] where he posts pictures of his explorations.

Even with Garrett's academic, philosophical descriptions of the activities and motives of urban explorers, I still saw a bunch of thrill-seeking young guys thumbing their noses at "the man." For all of their "working to create more democratic relationships to space in the context of an often dehumanizing global capitalist system," they come across as kids getting a kick out of going where they know they're not supposed to go. But they do take great pictures, don't damage or destroy the places the visit, and, I have to admit, tempt me to do some sneaking around myself.

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An amazing read - I finished it heartbroken it was over. 10 novembre 2013
Par John Chambers - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I've been a keen reader (or should I say viewer) of urban exploration books for many years. Most of them are just photo books and don't ever talk about why they are doing what they are doing. Garrett is the first to really do this is any detail. He is an urban explorer himself, but he is also a kind of philosopher. He tells us why we should care about abandoned building, construction sites and tunnels underneath the city. The adventures of the explorers getting into the places, along with plenty of close-calls, keep you on your toes when he gives you the philosophy. All in all, it's an amazing read and I finished it heartbroken it was over. I really hope there will be a Part II!
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