Art & design in context the flaneur


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Art & design in context the flaneur

  1. 1. Art & Design in Context<br />The Flâneur<br />
  2. 2. Today’s session will involve:<br /><ul><li>An introduction to the concept of the flâneur
  3. 3. Group discussion on the flâneur and the reading (Paul Auster’s “City of Glass”)
  4. 4. An introduction to analysis
  5. 5. Individual mapping exercise – mapping out your practice, thinking and related art & design practices</li></li></ul><li>Baudelaire, Poe & the Flâneur<br /> We will look at 20th & 21st Century ideas of psychogeography this term in relation to maps, map making and navigation of space (whether that is a physical or a mental space). Today, we will take a brief look at the precursor/s to such notions – precursors that date back to the 19th Century...<br /> In 1840, the writer Edgar Allan Poe wrote a short story entitled The Man of the Crowd. He introduced a particular character in this story, which later became the inspiration for Baudelaire’s concept of the flâneur (introduced in his seminal 1863 essay The Painter of Modern Life).<br />19th C critic & writer Charles Baudelaire; writer Edgar Allan Poe<br />
  6. 6. “Sitting in a cafe, and looking through the shop window, a convalescent is enjoying the sight of the passing crowd, and identifying himself in thought with all the thoughts that are moving around him... In the end he rushes out into the crowd in search of a man unknown to him whose face, which he had caught sight of, had in a flash fascinated him. Curiosity had become a compelling, irresistible passion.”<br /> Baudelaire on Poe’s <br /> The Man of the Crowd<br />Gustav Caillebotte, Paris Street – Rainy Weather, 1877<br />Matthew Buckingham, A Man of the Crowd, B/W 16mm film, 24 min, 2003<br />
  7. 7. The Flâneur<br /> Baudelaire’s flâneur is a particular character, who traverses the streets of the city as an observer of contemporary life; ‘a person who walks the city in order to experience it’ (Baudelaire 1863). His version of the flâneur (sometimes translated to the English word dandy) bears clear traces of notions and events taking place in 19th Century Europe. Baudelaire’s flâneur is:<br /><ul><li>Male
  8. 8. No visible means of income
  9. 9. Urban, contemporary, stylish
  10. 10. Part of the crowd yet apart from the crowd
  11. 11. Aloof and unreadable, blasé
  12. 12. Strolling observer, wanders with no specific purpose </li></ul> but to drink in the sights and sounds of the emerging city<br />
  13. 13. The Haussmannisation of Paris 1852-1870 (Continued after Haussmann to c. 1882)<br /> The Haussmannisation project was a hugely significant one; a project that changed and created the city of Paris but what we understand to be a modern city. It involved...<br /><ul><li>‘Creative destruction’
  14. 14. Slum clearance and the opening up of the city
  15. 15. Expand local business to help project costs (uniformity of commercial plots)
  16. 16. Commercial streets, zoning for cafés
  17. 17. Macadam streets, boulevards, faster traffic (changing dynamics of the street)
  18. 18. Parks, public squares, uniform buildings (uniform balconies, angled roofs, leveled streets), tree lined streets
  19. 19. Ease of movement for military</li></ul>Baron Haussmann <br />
  20. 20. Paris 1771 Paris Post-Haussmann<br />
  21. 21. Charles Marville, Building of Avenue de l’Opera butte des Moulins Rue Saint Roch, 1858-78<br />
  22. 22. The cartoonist Cham took up the consequences of replacing<br />cobblestone streets with macadamized surfaces. Here the woman is<br />carefully stacking the displaced cobblestones at the side of the road,<br />“in case they might be needed for barricades.”<br />
  23. 23. Charles Marville, Rue Soufflot, The Pantheon, 1858-78<br />
  24. 24. Rue Soufflot, The Pantheon, February 2008<br />
  25. 25. The new Paris meant both the birth and death of Baudelaire’s flâneur: <br /> In Baudelaire’s Paris the new shop lined boulevards and arcades provided a place for the Flâneur to roam and observe.<br /> The advancing democratisation gave this bourgeois type the opportunity to mingle with the hordes<br /> But...<br /> The dynamic, rapidly expanding city ensured his demise, there was no room for elbow room and casual observances in the increasingly crowded streets.<br />Georges Diébolt, Boulevard Haussmann, 1910<br />However, we could perhaps say that the flâneur has been reincarnated in various forms and variations since Baudelaire – in artists’ and art & design movements/projects, literature, etc.<br /><br />
  26. 26. The following references may be of interest:<br />Baudelaire, C. (1972) Selected Writings on Art and Literature, Viking 1972<br /> Benjamin, W. (1983) Charles Baudelaire: A Lyrical Poet In The Era of High Capitalism, London: Verso<br /> Benjamin, W. (1999) The Arcades Project, Cambridge, Mass : The Belknap Press of Harvard University<br /> Berman, M. (1982) All That is Solid Melts into Air, New York: Simon & Schuster<br /> Calvino, I. (1997) Invisible Cities, Vintage<br /> Chadwick, W. (1985)Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement, London: Thames & Hudson<br />Debord, G. (1995) Society of the Spectacle, Zone Books<br /> Debord, G. (1973/2009) Society of the Spectacle, film. Available online:<br /> Harmon, K. (2003) You are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination, Princeton Architectural Press<br /> McCurry, J. (2009) Smell Club sniffs out world's best and worst odours, The Guardian. Available online:<br /> Not Bored! (2009) Not Bored!, Cincinnati. Online. Available:<br />Wark, M. (2008) Fifty Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International. New York: Temple Hoyne Buell Center For The Study Of American Architecture and Princeton Architectural Press<br />
  27. 27. Group discussion: City of Glass<br /> Think about the notion of the flâneur and the act of wandering, walking, strolling, traversing, following signs (literal and metaphorical) around the city, and consider the reading (chapter 8 of Paul Auster’s “City of Glass”; available on the Art & Design in Context blog). Make sure to take notes, as these should be uploaded onto your blogs!Discuss the following in your groups, and prepare to feedback to the rest of the class:<br /> - Based on the reading and today’s session on the flâneur & the city, can either Stillman (senior) or Quinn/Paul Auster be considered a flâneur? Why/why not?<br /> - What can we learn from the act of recording or mapping in terms of thought processes? How can these be used?<br /> - Consider the structure of New York City (where “City of Glass” takes place) and that of London. What are some major differences, and how would those have affected Quinn/Auster or Stillman’s maps had the story taken place in London?<br /> - To what extent you think the flâneur as a character can exist in contemporary London? What elements would be facilitate / limit such a character?<br /> - What alternative forms of wandering/strolling/navigating, traversing, following, etc can you think of that could be considered 21st Century forms of flânerie (the act of wandering that the flâneur carries out)?<br />
  28. 28. Describe<br /> Allocate to a group or category; name defining attributes <br /> Give the meaning(s), explain the scope and uses of a term <br />Define a problem, scope the problem area, describe the challenges and issues encompassed <br />Present the features or components of an object, person, place, system etc <br />Give an account of how something works, happens or is done <br /> Present a theory, idea, methodology etc that has already been established<br />Describe a number of items or attributes in turn Narrate or report; describe events in sequence ; order or arrange <br /> Present information according to a specific rule, or for clarity outline or give a brief, general description or summary; offer an initial sketch or rough version<br />
  29. 29. Analyse and Contextualise<br /> Explain part/s in terms of the whole, instance in terms of general rule, findings in terms of hypothesis, example in terms of theory, incident in terms of context…<br /> Apply a theory, methodology, protocol, explanation etc to a given problem<br /> Set out a position with clear reasoning and justification: support and/or refute a position <br /> Identify similarities and differences between two objects, ideas, situations or processes <br /> Consider in terms of surrounding information such as location, time, roles, trends <br /> Give reasons for, illustrate the meaning of, account for (in terms of a theory or rationale), make clear and intelligible <br />
  30. 30. Analyse and Contextualise<br /> Expand on a given statement, situation or position, introducing new considerations <br /> Speculate or predict what will be true in more general situations based on evidence from a specific case or cases<br /> Challenge, query, or point out inconsistencies and difficulties with a position (especially an established one) <br /> Challenge, query or object to an argument or position<br /> Prove to be false, overthrow by argument or evidence <br /> Substantiate or strengthen argument through presentation of evidence<br />
  31. 31. Evaluate<br /> Form a judgement based on findings or a comparison between different perspectives<br /> Make a judgement or decision, or summarise main arguments at the close of a text <br /> Question a given piece of information, theory or view; point out defects or omissions, show errors <br />Discuss points for and against, offering evidence; elaborate the argument or position if appropriate <br />Discuss how effects are achieved; assess how specific features support (or fail to support) the overall creative endeavour <br />Present a range of information/views with comments and judgements; argue the case for and against <br />Present new aspects of an argument or position; consider in greater detail <br />Assess the value or impact of, considering evidence from a range of perspectives <br />Develop an explanation accounting for all the evidence; OR offer a speculative explanation subject to further evidence<br />Explain possible meanings of, make clear and explicit (usually using your own judgement) <br />Consider from a personal perspective including beliefs, intentions, feelings, judgements and memories; consider the learning experience itself <br /> Combine several arguments or sources of evidence to reach a more complex or holistic assessment <br />Assess by reference to data from different methods and sources<br />
  32. 32. For next week:<br />We are going to review your blogs and assignment ideas next week, so make sure you bring in:<br />- individual mapping task (see next slide for details)<br /> - at least three ideas for your map (bring visuals – on your blog /on paper, on USB, or on your laptop)<br /> - examples of your design practice (visual materials – your blog/ paper / USB / laptop)<br /> - your gallery sketchbook <br /> - a brief analysis of one of the films available on the Art & Design in Context blog (at least 300 words) – uploaded to your blog<br />
  33. 33. Individual task: mapping of your practice<br />Think about the brief (‘The Map and the Territory’) and about your design practice. Map out the following on a piece of paper or on your laptop:<br /> - 5 artists/designers who have inspired you<br /> - Elements of recently visited art / design exhibitions that have influenced your thinking<br /> - 3 books that have had an affect on you / your thinking / your practice<br /> - 3 places/spaces that have had an impact on you<br /> - 5 musicians/bands who have influenced you<br /> - 5 key words that would describe your design practice<br /> ... and start drawing links between some of these points<br /> Note that some of these points may not link with your practice!<br />Now, answer the following:<br /> - how would you define your design practice? Make notes on: specific professional fields and design styles.<br /> - how would you describe your ‘style’ as a designer?<br /> - do you think your background (cultural/national/social, etc) has influenced your practice and thinking? If so, how?<br /> - how do you think mapping out your practice will be beneficial for you as a designer?<br />