The thesis of Olya Troitskaya “Virtual walking” studies a gesture of strolling in physical and cyberspace.
It looks into the history of a “deliberate walk”, starting from the concept of the flâneur developed by Charles Baudlaire, its degradation by capitalism into the figure of the shopper, its later radical political update coming with the concept of the “dérive”, its development through a notion of “Psychogeography” with Guy Debord and Situationist International and its popularity later in 1990s in artistic and academic circles, building up psychogeographical praxis in various ways.
Further the thesis draws a parallel between these historical processes happening in the real space to the ones taking place in the cyberspace.
With the development of capitalism flânerie becomes increasingly restricted. Is it possible that Cyberspace, that can be looked at as an update of a personal, bodily and architectural space, would become a more popular place for flânerie?
If in the 1990s “cyberflânerie” is associated with a free “strolling through information space, taking in the virtual architecture and remaining anonymous”(1), then in 2000s it doesn’t seemed such an intriguing activity as in the early days of the Web.
The processes happening to the internet in 2000s can be considered similar to ones happening in 19th century Paris, lead to the change of its original, playful identity.
Various artistic practices are being developed around a cyber stroll. Will they react to the changes happening to the figure of cyberflâneur and challenge its appropriation by capitalism, similar to Debor’s challenging capitalism’s hold over the city? (x) http://www.ceramicstoday.com/articles/051998.htm, last accessed: 06.09.2013
What is the future of the cyberflâneur? Is it possible to learn from Situationist’s example? Where to look for the “dérive” in cyberspace?
text by Olya Troitskaya [graduate student department of Graphic Design 2013] : more www.olyatroitskaya.com