Image © Srinivas Kuruganti 2011

 “The whole visible universe is but a storehouse of images and signs.”

Charles Baudelaire (from ‘The Arcades Project’, Walter Benjamin, [J7,3])


Mapping the Flâneur was a dynamic photographic installation designed as an image-based response to the fragmentary, indexical nature of Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Arcades Project’. As a constantly evolving exhibition of crowd-sourced new work, produced by talented contemporary photographers involved in a selection of the world’s most exciting collectives, it created a vibrant global photographic dialogue providing an overview of the growing photography collective movement, of contemporary photographic practices, and the complexity of urban life worldwide.

Inspired by the development of cloud printing, the installation remotely produced prints for exhibition daily, and the images were also tracked online at the project’s site The installation was a real-world print model of online image sharing: the experimental nature of the project was a response to critical debate about the future of print in the internet age, using the web and print to produce a crossover between the tangible and virtual worlds. Street photography is currently enjoying a popular renaissance and, with the active involvement of international contemporary photographers, the project was also intended to broadly explore the boundaries of this genre.

Mapping the Flâneur was collaboratively conceived by UK-based photography collectives ASA and Wideyed, produced with the support of Arts Council England and Photo Festivals, and made possible by the generous contributions of the following collectives:

ASA Collective / UK
Belgrade Raw / Serbia
Black Box / Nigeria
Black Dog Collective / Denmark
BlankPaper – La Escuela / Spain
Blind Collectif / France
Boreal Collective / Canada
Collectif Item / France
Depiefoto / Spain
Dreamboats Collective / US
Dvafoto / Serbia + US
Galeria Experiência / Brazil
Garapa / Belgium + Brazil
MJR / International
NAPO Images / Poland
Role / Brazil
TerraProject / Italy
Verso Images / Russia
Wideyed / UK
Zorye Kolektiv / Slovenia

With special thanks to Arturo Rodriguez Castillo for coordinating contributions from La Escuela BlankPaper in Spain, and to Nathalie Belayche at ON THE ROOF for help with contacting Nigerian collective Black Box.

Mapping the Flâneur from Lucy Carolan on Vimeo.