Ambiance of slowness: Brussels commercial gallery of the latter half of the 20th century
In this paper, I study the sensory-motor effects of Brussels commercial galleries’ ambiance in the latter half of the 20th century.
The analysis of two case studies (“Deux Portes” networked galleries and Agora Gallery) reveals the different logics of slow mobility acceleration and immobilisation at stake in the emerging modernist grammar of slow mobility. This grammar – in arrangement with the grammar of fast automobility – structures and stabilises the design of spaces for slowness next to the roadscape in spatial segregation of transport modes. There are accelerating and decelerating sensory dispositifs that define galleries both as punctual destination spaces that capture passers-by and as alternative paths for pedestrians: logics of multifunctionality, fast mobility accessibility and setting of an ambiance on the one hand, and logics of securement, spatial and qualitative continuities, on the other hand. Accelerating and decelerating dispositifs and logics facilitate movement to better keep the consumer captive. Then, I discuss the possible contribution of iconographic archives in research about past ambiances. They effectively acknowledge sensorymotor effects of ambiance but do not constitute an autonomous corpus to grasp sensitivity and reshape past ambiances.
Pelgrims, C. (2019). Ambiance of slowness: Brussels commercial gallery of the latter half of the 20th century. SHS web of conferences,(64), 03001. https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/20196403001