Driving Dreams…and the non-place

I went to see a film the other night at Chelsea, it was called ‘Driving Dreams’ by an artist called Boris Gerrets.  Heres’ an excerpt about the film from the e-mail Andy sent us:

Driving Dreams (Netherlands, 2006, 51 minutes) is a portrait of the anonymous zone that lies between motorway, petrol station, carwash and carpark. Impersonal observations – wheels, roadmarkings, shadows behind windshields, cars flying past and security camera footage  –  alternate with short interviews and personal portraits of people in their cars and along the road. Meeting various motorists in the course of the film, the viewer also shares the viewpoint of a petrol station cashier and a cleaner who changes car park bin bags. The final stop is a snack bar on wheels, parked in a rest area in the early morning, close to the sea.  




 The films’ intention was to portray the loneliness of anonymity and also the pleasure one can get from being anonymous on a motorway, one of our man made middle landscapes, or a non-space.  

What I really took away from this film was the interpretation of the motorway as a transient space that is shaped by the peoples experiences with it, yet it remains undefinable.  

My interpretation of this film coupled with conversations with Andy and all you guys has really made me think about the non-place and its’ effect on the individual, and also the individuals affect on it.

I think this could be a good focus for my work.  I may look for non-places and explore what ways that space can change the way the individual conducts themselves within that environment.  Do these non-places perpetuate a sense of anonymity? Do these places alter our perception of normal social conduct? Do we create this sense of anonymity or does the space create this for us?  

In conjunction with this, if I was to take away the mediated experience from a space, for example to film Tescos supermarket and digitally remove all the Tescos signs, by removing what that place actually represents would that then become non-place?

I got a book out today called ‘non-places: Introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity’ By Marc Auge.  Will give this a read and continue to think about what I have just written and see where this takes me…. but I think I may be finally getting somewhere with this project..!.. signing off…


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