Posts tagged “word power”

Art theory jargon (could be designer-y jargon?)

A recent comment by Candy Minx introduces me to another word I don’t know: flaneur. Wikipedia sez it’s “a detached pedestrian observer of a metropolis, a ‘gentleman stroller of city streets’.” Reminds me a lot of reading blogs, with the ironic distance we keep; tracking memes, gossip, interesting stories, across a densely linked architecture of information, a metropolis of a new sort, perhaps.

The history of the term, perhaps, and I’m way out my depth here (hoping that by attempting to explain it naively I might somehow learn a little bit), connects to a time when pop culture was gaining relevance in contrast to “art” – something that was kept hidden away in galleries or museums or opera houses. The culture of the street being recognized as its own thing, and the emergence of a connoisseur for that culture. I’m sure you can draw a wobbly line from the flaneur to the trendspotter, although the motivations seem vastly different.


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