Walking in the City

"Escaping the imaginary totalizations produced by the eye, the everyday has a certain strangeness that does not surface, or whose surface is only its upper limit, outlining itself against the visible."
- Michel de Certeau in Walking in the City (The Practice of Everyday Life)

In chapter Walking the City (The Practice of Everyday Life, 1977) M. de Certeau describes “the pleasure of seeing the whole” by looking at NYC from the 110th floor of the WTC, distinguishing the ‘Voyeur’ -the gaze from above- and the ‘Wandersmanner’ - the practitioners of the city. “Wandersmanner, whose bodies follow the thicks and thins of an urban ‘text’ they write without being able to read it.” Technological progress affects the Voyeur-Wandersmanner opposition. Besides a horizontal logic of national borders, political geography now has a vertical logic of ‘the Cloud’. Power inequality between seer and seen is core of the ‘vertical surveillance’ discussion. Expansion of the concept 'body' is necessary to understand our current perception. My short SF movie Walking the City shows the city through a vertical stereoscope, uncovering different notions of perception and power. A singular image splits into satellite- and eye-level image and merges again, using superimposition and complementary colours (3D). Candid images shot in both real (street) and virtual (Google Earth) public space represent the current Voyeur - Wandersmanner opposition. A narrator writes a new 'urban text'.

Top