The Sensity flanuer. The patterns in the city

January 9, 2008 by stanza Leave a reply »
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OIl On Canvas by artist Stanza. Virus

OIl On Canvas by artist Stanza. Virus

While Baudelaire characterized the flâneur as a “gentleman stroller of city streets”, he saw the flâneur as having a key role in understanding, participating in and portraying the city. A flâneur thus played a double role in city life and in theory, that is, while remaining a detached observer. This stance, simultaneously part of and apart from, combines sociological, anthropological, literary and historical notions of the relationship between the individual and the greater populace.

This term refers to a person who plays a sensor role in understanding the urban environment.

Any pedestrian environment that accommodates leisurely exploration of city streets. Walter Benjamin adopted the concept of the urban observer both as an analytical tool and as a lifestyle….. making social and aesthetic observations during long walks. (From wikipedia)

The wrap it seems, is the collections of observations about the cityspace. These can be made into histories and documented, sights and sounds, experiences of the city.

 

“’Space has to be conceptualised in order to be experienced and understood, our ‘sites’ are informed by the predisposed character of our ‘sight’. The flaneur is a suitable metaphoric vehicle for the ‘witnessing’ of this space because ‘the flaneur moves through space and among the people with a viscosity that both enables and priviledges vision.’

Being a product of modernity, he was a spectator of modern life in the urban sprawl; now a product of post-modernity, the cyborg-flaneur is an androgynous spectator of virtual spaces. A person’s whose aim is to disappear in the spaces of the city – ‘a prince who is everywhere in possession of his incognito’ – is the person who has the best view of the basic nature of cyberspace, a space where anonymonity is maintained by a process of vaporisation upon departure.

The flaneur is also an ‘image of movement through the social space of modernity’ – an explorer who finds their identity among the realizations of the city. The cyber-flaneur’s exploration of virtual spaces is achieved through their natural propensity for movement; they wander anonymously within the boundaries of virtual space, developing a virtual identity while connected.” By Gaylene Barnes, OtagoUniversity, 1997.

 

I am exploring the patterns in the city from walks through technological observations. There are system loops from analogue to digital. In Sensity I am make the work virtual, visualizing the real city data and then representing it online, then making an installation city in the real world through display and leds. That’s is from real to virtual to real in a complex loop of assets.

Sensity has an agency it manifests sites and sounds of the real work expressing the stresses and senses of the real urban networked space.

On reflecting on recent surveillance based work I am also making systems with analogue and digital that appear the same. Uncovering the process of that exists in making the artworks.

“The Metropolis and Mental Life” by George Simmel.

“Man does not end with the limits of his body or the area comprising his immediate activity. Rather is the range of the person constituted by the sum of effects emanating from him temporally and spatially. In the same way, a city consists of its total effects which extend beyond its immediate confines.”

And maybe data doesn’t start or end inside the computer. There is bleed at the edges of the dataspace which are affected by the ‘agency’ of the participants. Environments change shape and patterns emerge as the flaneur move about.

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