“An Attempt at Exhausting an Augmented Place in Paris.” Georges Perec, observer-writer of urban life, as a mobile locative media user
This chapter describes a thought experiment inwhich a modern day Georges Perec, equipped with a smartphone and actively committed to the use of mobile locative media such as Foursquare, would make an “Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris” today. I argue that the initial project epitomized the way the neutral gaze of the onlooker isconstitutive of the urban public place and the way behavior in urban public places ouldbe described and accountablein generic terms intelligible to readers themselves framed as strangers (in the sense of strangers in public places). This analysis is used as a baseline to show how a fictive, connected Perec would have to cope with the dual accessibility of places and people, both in the physical world and on screen, and especially the ‘parochialization’ of place and individualization of digital personae online, in a way which would radically transform the initial literary project. This shows how the city augmented with mobile locative media might not be available to description in the same terms as the 20th century metropolis, and how a square in the augmented city might not be a public place in the same sense.