“Psychogeography is the practice of exploring the urban environment while being led by curiosity and a paused sense of time and place” Individuals are encouraged to take a closer look at the world they pass by each day, and to explore its inner workings in a new and adventurous way. “Psychogeography includes just about anything that takes pedestrians off their predictable paths and jolts them into a new awareness of the urban landscape”
Andre Govia is a photographer and urban explorer according to him, It’s very natural to have curiosity ,but fear of getting in trouble and the unknowns within prevent most people from walking inside. Undeterred,
Govia started exploring abandoned buildings since 1999.Having explored over 800 indvidual locations Andre takes us on a journey behind the facade of abandoned buildings to discover the hauntingly beautiful discoveries within. In December, Govia released, “Abandoned Planet,” a book that contains 380 of the thousands of photographs he has taken during his adventures. The book is filled with images of deserted hospitals, hotels, schools, theme parks, mansions, cottages, car graveyards and industrial spaces.
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According to govia not every place decays the same , he noticed , decay in new jersy is quiet grenish compared to North Wales which seemingly has a dense, “black” decay. The Catskills have a “more deep-set decay,” whereas Miami, Spain or Portugal has a “very dusty decay.”
“You can kind of tell where a place is if you know what your decay is,” said Govia. “I rather enjoy it — the different decay and different smells.”
In Germany and Italy, the paintings decorating ceilings and sculptures in homes and hospitals. Even the mental asylums and the crematoriums in Italy have painted ceilings, it’s amazing. You’ll be in an operating theatre, and you’ll look up, and it’s got painted ceilings with God knows what on it.
Govia and his network of urban explorers keep their locations secret. They don’t want unskilled adventure seekers getting hurt and they want to protect the buildings from getting further destroyed.
They also have a code that to obey strictly “We don’t damage anything. We don’t break into a building … We never remove items from a building, never deface a building. We’re there to actually capture the glory of the building,” said Govia. “If somebody is found to have removed an item or someone is found to have damaged a property to gain entry, then they are very much frowned upon and often outcast.”
Read some of the amazing questions answers by Andre Govia at photographyblogger
What’s the spookiest thing you’ve encountered while exploring sites to shoot?
I am not so much into the whole ghost thing and I have been in lots of mortuaries and even slept in sanatoriums to get good light in the morning, but one hotel I once explored very much bothered me and the other members of the crew to a point that we were uneasy with our surroundings. That’s all I am prepared to say about that exploration apart from that we won’t be going back in a hurry.