a new landscape inquiry loosely springing from an experimental combination of about 300 sheets of expired 4x5 film, an ultra minimalist wooden pinhole camera loaned from a friend, and the simple utter truth that i fell in love with a 14 mile palm-lined boulevard in Fresno

Saturday, November 11, 2006

flâneur of fresno


become, in Baudelaire's phrase, 'a botanist of the sidewalk'

The flaneur, though grounded in everyday life, is an analytic form, a narrative device, an attitude towards knowledge and its social context.

projects around the idea of providing surprises, distractions, and sequences of events for pedestrians.

The flâneur is the link between routine perambulation, in which a person is only half-awake, making his way from point A to point B, and the moments of chiasmic epiphany that one reads of in Wordsworth or Joyce. Like Poe’s narrators, he is acutely aware, a potent intellectual force of keen observation--a detective without a lead.

the flâneur is typically associated with CITY, beginning with Paris (Baudelaire).

all this talk about the rebirth of the postmodern flaneur in the postmodern landscape.

BOULEVARD is none of this.

anti. i leave my city. travel to fresno to walk into a rural setting - departing the confines of the city on foot walking. the urban decay is left behind. a new decay takes its place. abandoned. halted development. rural landscape.

this confirms the direction then. start from the historic sign and walk towards Kerman. from the city's edge to the open fields.

read this:
“Why revise for a notebook? The fact that Benjamin also transferred masses of quotations from actual notebooks to the manuscript of the convolutes, and the elaborate organization of these cited materials in the manuscript (including the use of numerous epigraphs), might likewise bespeak a compositional principle at work in the project, and not just an advanced stage of research.

Citation and commentary might then be perceived as intersecting at a thousand different angles, setting up vibrations across the epochs of recent history, to as to effect ‘the cracking open of natural teleology.’ And all this would unfold through the medium of hints or ‘blinks’, a discontinuous presentation deliberately opposed to traditional modes of argument.

it seems undeniable that despite the informal, epistolary announcements of a ‘book’ in the works, an eigentlichen Buch, the research project had become an end in itself.”

from here