|Published online: January 24, 2014||$US5.00|
Walter Benjamin thought of Baudelaire's literary flâneur as an object of scopic transaction in a sightplay—to see and be seen, voyeur and exhibitionist, the city as stage. Guy Debord took the practice a step further: to walk without aim was now an artistic practice to be labeled Situationism and mapped according to “psychogeographical” coordinates. If we take a further leap, we find ourselves on a bus with Robert Smithson, on a September morning in 1967, destination: El Passaic, New Jersey. After Smithson's scrutiny, that industrial landscape, converted into a great display of monuments, would never be the same again. Finally, Agustín Fernández Mallo, 2011, Spain, visually and literally recreates Smithson’s steps in his narrative El Hacedor (de Borges), Remake, where he incorporates geospatial technologies. In this paper, I trace the artistic practices that revolve around the praxis of dérive throughout these differentiated cultural paradigms. We will see how walking aimlessly, having begun as a metaphor for the journey of the political gaze, has finally transcended man’s gravitational state in order to become the panopticon eye that Google Earth has created with the magic wand of a click.
|Keywords:||Flaneurism, Situationism, Dérive, Psychogeography, Internet, Google Earth, Rhyzome|
The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, Volume 8, Issue 1, April 2014, pp.1-7. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 24, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 298.978KB)).
Spanish Adjunct, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, New York University, New York City, New York, USA