How to do a Derive

  1. WHY: Remember the purpose of a derive: to open yourself more to the world, to see closer, to pay attention to discarded images and objects, to decipher illusions, to uncover what is hidden in plain sight. The hope is that through this, we won’t be drown by everything in the world but instead immerse in them and perhaps even play.
  2. WHERE: Choose a place that is familiar but adjacent to an unfamiliar area. There will be no destination. Focus on the journey. But avoid shops, museums, art galleries, or anywhere where objects are curated for us. Avoid the urge to go to rural areas. Go to places you won’t normally visit. Follow instincts. Don’t use maps.
  3. WHO: Be with at least one person. Above six, you should cut the group into smaller groups. The organizer of the derive is not the leader. Derives have no guides or leaders. Each member of the group has an autonomy and they can use their instincts to influence the trajectory of the drift. Being with people helps you shift your focus among self, other, and place. Invite friends and acquaintances. Let the individuality of each member define the mythogeography.
  4. HOW: Ideally, disrupt your usual walking habits. Start on an odd time. Schedule for at least half day. From the starting point, find a way to arrive at something unfamiliar (ride a bus and get off at a random street or ride a cab and have them drop you somewhere random). Start with a theme (look for rebellion, differences, voids, symbols, interweaving). Let the walk change this initial theme. Look for a story and things to develop the story. Take objects or leave objects.
  5. WHAT: Bring good shoes, things to leave behind, flashlight, chalk, notebook, pen, camera, water, food. Don’t bring maps.

Final product: apres derive or memento of the walk to share to others.

  • photos
  • essays
  • songs
  • performances

Create a Derive starter kit


  1. How would the final product of the walks look like? How can I apply jiyu shukyo here?