did I become a voyeur in my flaneur state?!

Researching about the flaneur through the Collectives Encounter blog before the first shoot The Photography Collective did, gave me some ideas of what I’d like to explore. I was thinking about this idea of how you can wonder and gaze in one place but your mind can be elsewhere, I also started thinking about the ethical concerns of being a flaneur armed with a camera (the street photographer), where are the boundaries for violating someones personal space and can you truely document without it becoming voyeuristic?

I don’t like to think of myself as a voyeur at all, especially if you saw the Exposed exhibition at the Tate last year, but after showing this initial experimental video from that first shoot to two of my colleague’s at the college I teach, they said it verged into the voyeuristic. On reflection maybe I did become a voyeur in my flaneur state! I started seeing stories emerge, different coloured shoes, children jumping off steps and enjoying the city as a playground, love stories emerging. Maybe I’m a romantic and I fathomed all this in my mind (most probably!) but I did enjoy observing patterns of behaviour and seeing stories emerge.

When I showed some of my students the video, the reaction was a bit unexpected, some were very concerned about the ethical issues of taking and using photographs without someone’s permission. I argued that when were are being photographed and filmed near enough all day and everyday (cctv Britain etc) then what is the difference between that and what I’m doing? The debate raged on for a few minutes before I had to get back to the topic of teaching them about surrealist and experimental photographers…!

I must also add the inspiration of the quotes on the video were from a lot of reading from this blog, so thanks! The quote at the end is about Sophie Calle’s work, but I liked it for what i felt about shooting this

Here’s the first video anyhow, it’s a rough edit but all feedback at this stage especially is welcome.

Jaskirt

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Comments
2 Responses to “did I become a voyeur in my flaneur state?!”
  1. Thanks Jaskirt for sharing your research and thoughts. I think you had a point when you answered your students with CCTVs which are watching us all day long in the UK. Maybe there is something the collective unconscious which makes us more aware about being watched when we identify someone behind the lens.
    I don’t see a flâneur-voyeur here, but the fragile public realm at the age of surveillance under the power of the gaze of the flâneur.

  2. i think your right in the idea that when we can identify who is behind the lens when a human is consciously photographing us then a cctv camera. Maybe we’ve become so used to cctv camera’s being everywhere we don’t now care or think about who might be behind them or even that we are being watched! thanks for your comments, much appreciated

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