Play that funky joker; or, how I learned to stop worrying and embraced psychogeography

Our November 4 release date is getting closer, and we’re adding icing on the cake. As you use Kompl to get lost in the city of your choice, a funky joker might appear. Unleash the joker and get drawn into its psychogeographic abilities of nudging you into an unconventional experience of your urban environment.

Kompl’s philosophy refers back to the Situationists, whom pursued creating situations, deliberately constructed for the purpose of initiating authentic experiences, even adventure. As an answer to what they saw as the crippling commercialisation of society, Guy Debord constructed the Dérive, an unplanned journey through, typically, an urban landscape, as well as the concept of psychogeography, an approach to geography that emphasizes playfulness and “drifting” around urban environments, hence ‘dérive’, basically a French word for ‘drift’.

Beyond a doubt, our favourite psychogeographic app is Dérive app. For the last few years, Dérive app has been available as a web-app, which you can install on pretty much any device. They’re working on a native app for iOS (and, if you’re interested, you should send them your email address to participate in the beta) which will be released soon, and have been providing programmatic access to one-card-dérives; in essence, single ‘tasks’ that nudge you into exploring your urban environment in an unconventional manner.

Kompl has integrated Dérive app’s one card dérives as ‘jokers’ that appear at unspecified times, for you to immerse yourself in the city.

The artwork of the actual one-card-dérives was created by a range of artists. A list of credits is available over at the Dérive app website, though many of the uncredited once are by South African artist Eduardo Cachucho, one of the creators of Dérive app.

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Within Kompl, the jokers are some of the gorgeous artwork by American artist Marc-Anthony Macon, The All-American Queer Tea Punk. Marc also is responsible for some beautiful work we use for one of the characters you can select when you’re ‘playing the city’. A lot of Marc’s work is available through his Flickr feed.

So, keep your devices ready. On November 4, you won’t only be able to start playing ‘Pokémon Go in the real world‘, you will also get played that funky joker.