What the flâneur observes are the little everyday things of life, things which escape easily in the haste of everyday life, the little details that catch his eyes, which establish feelings, moods and whole stories. Wo walks today has a goal, and who has none, has at least an intention (shopping, sightseeing, walking). But is it still possible to awaken the flâneur in us? Can we find again the happiness of the “first gaze”? The Flâneur was once guided by the course of the streets. Every road was a possibility. The Fâneur discovered without searching. Are we today able to experience the space similar like the Flâneur in his time? Is the modern man yet able to stroll after all? Or made haste and restlessness of modernity the flaneur to a relic of a past time?
The flanerie acts as a guide in an increasingly confused world. It tries to oppose something against the increasing alienation and homelessness, to elicit an empirical value from experiences. The flaneur likes to be incorporate by the city, but the city has to give him something back as well: An individual character, places which especially invite to relax and to think and are really new. Have shopping streets and pedestrian zones banished the flâneur? What do we need in a city to stroll in it? What do we need in ourselves to wander?
Parallel to the city the flâneur starts to move, but has no fixed point during his observations. He dives into the crowd, but it is important for him not to merge with the crowd and to keep his loneliness. Protected from the crowd he can observe without interruption. In the crowd, the flâneur searches for new sources of aesthetic inspiration.His goal is to recover a sense of community
, as Baudelaire put it, “to be away from home and yet to feel everywhere at home”.Part of the process is getting lost in the crowd, and so, there’s a constant risk we will be moved, saddened, excited or fall in love. Walking among crowds keep our sense of community, with fresh perspectives on our environment, and on ourselves, but still retain freedom and individuality.“The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world – impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define.”
Charles Baudelaire, “The Painter of Modern Life”, (New York: Da Capo Press, 1964). Orig. published in Le Figaro, in 1863.
One of the main thoughts in design thinking and of the movement slow design is for me our perception of time and space since everything is being so fast these days and its hard to make someone stop and rest. So, Iam really interested on the one hand in the effect of reality, which is always different for everyone and is always something temporary, related on the space and place and the individual experiences and memories. On the other hand I would like to analyse in my project the bond to places that have lost their original function or will disappear and which traces they will left and if we can make them visible. Our presence is largely determined by a past, which becomes consciously or unconsciously to something current. Memory is not possible without forgetting: Because our memory is tied to places and media transport these memories. These media can be stories, songs, cemeteries, etc. The memory to a place thus describes not a complete reality, but gets its meaning from the ever newly forming real, social, political, cultural or imaginary space in which it stands. So the main focus in my work could be the transitions from the visible to the invisible in time and space.
According to this I would like to mention a project of Tina Frank (‘vergence’), which deals with transitions of spatial perception. Its an audiovisual work, where the viewer cant distinguish anymore between after-images from the colour space or a real video sequence. Image and sound repeat, overlaid and accelerates.