They aren't the same, clearly. The dérive is a journey [always in a city, it seems. Almost always Paris] without explicit purpose, an openness to "psychogeography," the associations any given person makes with the space he or she occupies. Both "dérive" and "psychogeography" are associated with Situationism, the Paris-based avant-garde movement, 1957-1972, and more, with Guy Debord and a fierce opposition to capitalism. Roaming is neither French, nor avant-garde, nor Marxist. Far from any deliberately oppositional stance toward social or economic convention, it is a community interest company, that is, positivity engaged in community affairs.
'in a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there... But the dérive includes both this letting go and its necessary contradiction: the domination of psychogeographical variations by the knowledge and calculation of their possibilities." Knabb, Ken, ed. Situationist International Anthology, Berkley: Bureau of Public Secrets, 1995. pg 50.
It is as if roaming goes back to the state of mind before anyone sets out on the dérive, before anyone decides to let themselves be affected by immediate events, or to try to manipulate them to one's own purpose, before anyone decides to oppose capitalism or revolutionise art. Maybe it goes back to a moment when all that is still open...
This is a page for notes about how Roaming is related to contemporary art as a whole. We hope the contributors list will expand.