"The term flâneur comes from the French masculine noun flâneur—which has the basic meanings of "stroller", "lounger", "saunterer", "loafer"—which itself comes from the French verb flâner, which means "to stroll". Charles Baudelaire developed a derived meaning of flâneur—that of "a person who walks the city in order to experience it".
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." Thanks Wikipedia!
This style of being i find incredibly interesting and a way to really experience and observe. It's something i try to do often, and now at least i have a definition for it!
We were asked to be a flaneur in today's tutorial for about 15 mins then to write about the experience afterwards. After walking slowly slowly around the building (the original flaneur has turtles on a string to walk at this pace) i wrote this piece:
Buildings puncture blue, leaking out a stream of white, crying for its loss of filling but relieving of the pressure.
border of these buildings is neither sky blue nor brick red, a moulding of both for one begins before the other has ended.
sun spreads warmth on the back of my back. across shoulders and seeping inwards to my spine
i see this sun as an aura, as my eyes dart across the space spheres frenetically follow. a conga dance of light surrounds the air
i see the age growing, dulling, cracking windows, vines driving over concrete and wood and brick. entwining through each other tacking back the space that was once theirs
things crumble down, melt away
parking lot is full, road is full, path is full, air is full, i am full.