The Data Flâneur
Interactive Data Sculpture

The Data Flaneur is a project intended to help people of all levels of digital literacy consciously reflect on the contemporary implications of data collection in the smart city.

Xiaoyao Ma, Marco Dell’Abate and I co-developed a project around the concept of the “Flâneur”; an old figure defined as a character who saunters through the city, carefully observing their surroundings while at the same time being fully aware of their felt and observed presence within that environment.

The Dutch word “Flaneren” also commonly defines it as the act of both “seeing, and being seen”, tieing in to the idea that the smart city is observing you, while you consciously move through it’s sensory network.

We used the cone of light as a symbolic visualisation of the area where the smart city observes you. Outside of it you are unseen, inside of it you are observed. Our aim was to intuitively explain data collection to people of all levels of digital literacy, which is why as you walk through the area of observation the light follows and traces the visitor, showing them a poetic symbol of their digital footprint.

“A flâneur is an ambivalent figure of urban affluence and modernity, representing the ability to wander through society with no other purpose than to be an acute observer of industrialized, contemporay life.”
The circle representing the area where the smart city observes.


Kinect V1, Laser

©2024 Jeroen Alexander Meijer