Heidegger’s Daoist Turn – Research in Phenomenology – article

Heidegger’s Daoist Turn

Eric S. Nelson | Research in Phenomenology


This article argues in favor of continuous symbolic relevance and analytical power of flâneur to pose significant questions about our present social condition, but proposes this can be achieved not by looking at the flâneur as a specific sociohistorical subject but rather through the notion of flânerie as a specific practice of observation, knowledge accumulation, and production of texts. The article first develops the analytical model of flânerie, which is then applied to the genre of street photography to demonstrate how it can be understood as photographic flânerie. In the subsequent part, the article shows how certain contemporary visual practices that represent contemporary developments of the genre of street photography—such as certain types of Google Street View captures and certain types photographic documentation of urban exploration—can be understood as photographic flânerie’s adaptive responses to the changing conditions of visibility in contemporary societies, the blurring of the division between the public and private domains, and the destructive inscription of neoliberalism into the physical space of the city.

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