Benjamin’s notes for the Arcades Project, that were saved and brought together by Bataille to leave us with the fragmented text that we have for this project today, originally included a folder of photos. We assume from references within the text and elsewhere that Benjamin intended to include photography within his final work, but this folder has never been found. We’ve been trying to find a way of incorporating photography into our adaptation of Benjamin’s approach for the study of the seaside promenade. You’ll see we have used photography quite extensively in previous posts here, and here (for example). We’ve now also decide to make use of an online tool for aggregating photostreams from flickr and merging them into a stream of relevance to this project.
The tool we are using is yahoo pipes, which allows us to automatically retrive photos from flickr taken by anyone who has stored them online in this way, where those photos are tagged with keywords that we select, like ‘promenade’ or ‘esplenade’. Benjamin was developing methods in his analysis that dealt with snippets of information, the detritus of society, adverts, merchandising, observations of what might otherwise be judged insignificant; this yahoo pipe helps us to collect images in a similar way. You can click on the image below to go straight to the pipe, which is a constantly updating stream of images. We’ve also included a feed of these images at the botom of this blog.
We’ll be developing this pipe over the coming months, refining our use of tags and developing a method for anlysing a dynamic flow of images.