13
Nov
07

circle Line to infinity…..

The Circle Line, London undergrounds inner loop. You can travel to 27 different stations on the Circle Line before the cycle repeats itself again.  The Circle Line is another example of a non-place that has no definite end destination.  Trains travel through the tunnels and stations eating at each others tails like some kind of mechanical Ouroboros.

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 The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol that has had been adopted by followers of different religions and patrons of mythology (or is that the same thing…?) during its history.  But fundamentally it stands for a symbol of cyclicality, it shows a snake eating its own tail thus completing the cycle of infinity.

Does the Circle Line, due to the very nature of its shape perpetuate a similar feeling of increasing boredom in the same way as the M25?  

As an experiment I made a video piece that shows a cycle of station names being constantly overwritten and repeated on top of one another.  I wanted to see how boring this experiment could be.  The process of making the piece was particularly boring and laborious as I had to keyframe each station to appear at the chosen time, this involved a lot of configuration and a large amount of CPU power…… which left me for periods of time………………. waiting ………………………… for the computer……………………….. to catch up…………………………………. with itself…………………………. this made the whole process a very tedious one.

As a viewer I was bored by watching it.  The movement of the stations names becomes more difficult to differentiate as it cycles through and at a point it appears to stop.  The longer I watched it, the more bored I became, I started to not really focus on anything and then by looking through it and into the background, my peripheral vision picked up the movement of the words again.  I was only aware that it was still moving when I was reduced to this state.  It may be interesting to program something like this using Pure Data to continuously generate the loop and repeat it so that it eventually just becomes an undefinable shape. 

 

The fundamental difference between the M25 and the Circle Line is that for a 4 hour period every night between 1am and 5am, the line stops and is closed to the public, unlike the M25 which we always have access too.  The trains make only one journey a night that truly ends at a destination.  

But what happens to these non-places when you remove the movement that partly defines it?  What happens when the final escalator is shut down, and the last door shut and locked, when the only movement left is the lenses of the cctv cameras shifting in and out of focus?  

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