Web Dérive

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The Dérive is a French concept describing an aimless walk through city streets that follows the whim of the moment. It is sometimes translated as a drift. [1]

Guy Debord established the Situationist method of the dérive (drifting) as a playful technique for wandering through cities without the usual motives for movement (work or leisure activities), but instead the attractions of the terrain, with its “psycho-geographic” effects. (credit: Walk Ways catalog)[2]

The dérive involves letting go of the usual reasons for walking and being drawn by the attractions and affordances of the place. The subtle aesthetic contours of the surrounding architecture and geography subconsciously direct the travelers with the ultimate goal of encountering an entirely new and authentic experience. [3]

Web Dérive

A Web Dérive is the act of acting as a Flâneur, or loafer/idler, browsing the web on an unplanned walk, flitting about and seeing what's there. Through artistic or curiosity reasons, this method works especially for browsing sites on the Internet Archive, or Neocities.


  1. Laboratory Landscape Website. Simon Fraser University. https://sfu.ca/~sbitter/Laboratory_Landscape/derives.html Accessed 25 Jan 2024.
  2. https://teaching.ellenmueller.com/walking/2021/10/10/guy-debord-drifting-derive-1958/
  3. Ibid.

Further Reading