Points in the Ambience – Travels with Archaeologists and Artists in Orkney.

Susan Brind, Jim Harrold, Alex Hale, Daniel Lee, Antonia Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The document of a journey and one-day dérive from Happy Valley to Billia Croo. In a collaboration between Archaeologists and Artists across the landscape in Orkney, Susan Brind & Jim Harold, Alex Hale, Daniel Lee, Antonia Thomas reveal layers of data and perform a ‘disappearance’.

"In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there." (Debord 1956: 2)

While this opening quote from Guy Debord’s Theory of the Dérive offers a guiding image for one of our days spent journeying through the Orkney landscape, where Debord considered the pure notion of the dérive (drift) to be an act located very much in relation to the urban, our day’s dérive – let us now call it that – in the mainland of Orkney moved from the urban to the rural. We began in Stromness, on the west coast, moving through the rural landscape to the Loch of Stenness, to Happy Valley, and via Tingwall to Birsay Moor and Burgar Hill, then back west to the coastal topography of Billia Croo and the Atlantic Ocean. Our dérive, therefore, deviated from Debord’s purely urban spirit but like other traveller/writers we wandered, both literally and psychogeographically, through the rural environment to natural sites, reflecting upon how they become subject to human activity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Drouth
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2022


  • Art and Archaeology
  • Psychogeography
  • Derive
  • Creative Practice
  • Collaboration
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Contemporary Archaeology
  • Orkney


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