The Deptford Project

A psychogeographical expedition to Deptford, using sensor technology.

raspberry pi computer
Raspberry Pi computer with sensors

I wanted to see if the strong emotions I sometimes feel during a derive have any basis in the physcial environment.

To do this I built a sensor kit around a Raspberry Pi computer and used this to record various measurable characteristics, such as magnetic field strength and air pressure, together with the location of each reading, as measured by a GPS sensor.

I chose Deptford to test this kit, since it is where the Elizabethan dramatist and spy Christopher Marlowe was probably murdered, under very strange circumstances, while drinking at a house on Deptford Strand.

old map
old map of Deptford

Marlowe was well known for his controversial plays, such as Dr Faustus, in which the central character conjures up the Devil on stage. This was a sensation: at the time people believed that the Devil might actually come if you called him correctly.

old engraving of conjurer
Marlowe's plays were as violent and controversial as his life

I walked around what is left of the Strand and found some interesting anomalies.

google map
Google map of Deptford, showing path of my walk

I've yet to form a theory from my observations: this needs more work.