Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City

“Volatile and extraordinary ... a gonzo road trip.” – Guardian

It is assumed that every inch of the world has been explored and charted; that there is nowhere new to go. But perhaps it is the everyday places around us—the cities we live in—that need to be rediscovered. What does it feel like to find the city’s edge, to explore its forgotten tunnels and scale unfinished skyscrapers high above the metropolis? Explore Everything reclaims the city, recasting it as a place for endless adventure.

Plotting expeditions from London, Paris, Berlin, Detroit, Chicago, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, Bradley L. Garrett has evaded urban security in order to experience the city in ways beyond the boundaries of conventional life. He calls it ‘place hacking’: the recoding of closed, secret, hidden and forgotten urban space to make them realms of opportunity.

Explore Everything is an account of the author’s escapades with the London Consolidation Crew, an urban exploration collective. The book is also a manifesto, combining philosophy, politics and adventure, on our rights to the city and how to understand the twenty-first century metropolis.


  • “Volatile and extraordinary ... a gonzo road trip.”
  • “It’s hard not to admire these explorers. Or Garrett himself, who says he wrote part of the book on a laptop while sitting in a crane overlooking Aldgate East.”
  • “A no-nonsense, high-adrenaline, fast-twitch report that requires us to think about the city in new ways. This is a provocative challenge to received dogma. An inspiration to get out there, to go over the fence. To see with our own eyes.”
  • “Urban exploration is... a way of renegotiating reality, transforming the moment, turning the city into a video game. Except that, in this game, you only have one life.”
  • “For Garrett, physical exploration is merely the outward manifestation of a deeper philosophical inquiry. The theoretical DNA of much of his work traces back to the concept of “psychogeography."”
  • “As the Earth becomes urban so explorers increasingly shift from the frontiers of ice and desert to the vast yet hidden domains of cities that remain curiously invisible in plain site. Explore Everything is the indispensable guide to this burgeoning world of urban exploration. It opens up the vast realms of our cities remain out-of-bounds -- the tunnels, bunkers, towers, sewers, stadia and more. With stunning clarity and visual power, it reveals the dank, dark and dangerous places that stalk both our urban imaginations and our visions of what a contemporary city might actually be. An extraordinary and important book.”
  • “When reading this wonderfully crafted text, it is apparent early on that Explore Everything is a vehicle for the spectacular. It contains exhilarating passages that decry the enforced striation of contemporary urbanism. It is a call to arms to not accept the city as spectacle, but to overcome the existing logic of the capitalist city and actively re-appropriate space.”
  • “Garrett’s book, and its excellent photography, makes clear that urban exploration manages to combine both vertigo and claustrophobia, with people perched on beams hundreds of feet above the city, trapped in elevators, and outrunning rapidly rising sewage. It also bears the mark of its origins as a doctoral thesis, with frequent references to Guy Debord and the theories of various philosophically minded geographers. It’s sort of like Jon Krakauer meets Gilles Deleuze, or a really adventurous W.G. Sebald.”
  • “A unique and electrifying travelogue ... Garrett and his fellow travelers are as fit, agile and fearless as ninja.”
  • “An absorbing read … Recommended for travel and modern history readers.”
  • “Volatile and extraordinary ... a gonzo road trip.”
  • “[Combines] erudite references (Montesquieu, Walter Benjamin) with compelling photographs of men in hoodies in strange places.”


  • 'Working to take place back'—Bradley Garrett in Transactions journal

    In the current issue of Transactions of the Institute of British GeographersExplore Everything author Bradley L. Garrett shares his research and analysis on urban exploration as critical spatial practice. Garrett ties present-day urban exploration to past interventions by the Situationist International and culture jammers, suggesting a common starting point for acts of urban subversion. Garrett notes:

    Urban exploration can be read as a reactionary practice working to take place back from exclusionary private and government forces, to redemocratise spaces urban inhabitants have lost control over. 

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  • 2013 Highlights from Verso Books

    From scaling the very highest rooftops to political scandal through the eyes of Alexander Cockburn, we bring you our seasonal highlights for 2013.


    Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City
    Bradley L. Garrett

    "Garrett perceives the city like no one else I know. Seen through his eyes, it is newly porous, full of “vanishing points”, “imperfect joinings” and portals – service hatches, padlocked doorways – that you wouldn't usually notice... The city's accessible space extends far down into the earth (sewers, bunkers, tunnels) and far up into the air (skyscrapers, cranes), with the street level only serving as a median altitude." – Robert Macfarlane, Guardian 

    "[Combines] erudite references (Montesquieu, Walter Benjamin) with compelling photographs of men in hoodies in strange places." – Rowan Moore, The Observer Architecture Books of the Year

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  • Explore Everything Twitter Photo Contest!

    To celebrate the release of Explore Everything, we're challenging readers to do some exploring of their own: from underground tunnels to mountaintops, whether halfway around the world or in your own town, capture your adventures and discoveries and share them with us on Twitter. One grand prize winner will receive a free copy of the book signed by author Bradley L. Garrett and a $100 gift certificate to online photo equipment store Adorama.com. Two runners-up will receive a signed copy and a $50 gift certificate.

    Tweet your best place-hacking photos to @VersoBooks using the hashtag #ExploreEverything between 12:00 PM EST 10/8/13 and 12:00AM EST 11/1/13 to be entered to win. Make sure you’re following @VersoBooks on Twitter, and check out the official rules below to make sure you and your photo are eligible to win!

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