29
Nov
07

The final proposal……..

‘If a place can be defined as relational, historical and concerned with identity, then a space which can not be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity will be a non-place’ Marc Auge (1992)

Working Title:

Non-Places:

To what extent is the non-place defined by our presence and movement through it, and in turn what ways does the non-place affect us?

Aims:

I want to explore the importance of movement within the non-place, and to what extent does movement enable the non-place to exist?

To find what informs our perception of the non-place with the intention of evaluating how the non-place affects us?

To look at how we experience the space, and through a process can the non-place become relational, historical or concerned with identity?   

Objectives

Through researching non-places that have been previously defined by artists and theorists, I want to look at how the non-place affects the individual and in turn, what is the individuals’ affect is on it.

I want to look at the non-places that have the most relevance to me, these being the motorway, the underground and the supermarket.  My objective is to research these examples of non-places to find any similarities between them and also to find what individually characterises them, what sets them apart from each other?  My intentions are to at a point in my research focus this down onto just one.  The work I produce in this period will be my final project.

I want to see if I can find some identity within the non-place. For example the supermarket trolley which we use to fill with our wants and needs to the locations of car crashes on our roads and motorways. Through a process can specific objects or events that occur within a non-place embody it with a certain identity? And if so, how can this process be physically and visually communicated

I want to investigate the importance of movement within the non-place.  I will start by investigating and documenting the different types of movement that occur in the non-places I have chosen to focus on.  I want to look at how the movement of human beings and other objects that characterise the space affect how we perceive it.

I am also interested in what happens to the non-place when movement is removed?  I hope for my observations to question to what extent this premise defines the non-place.

I will make video work that is a reflection of my observations.    

Rationale:

This proposal originated from a broad investigation into how society affects our perception of reality.  My research has progressed towards focusing on a particular aspect of our reality, the non-place.  This focus derived from an investigation into how our modern society affects us, and how we exist within this space.

‘If a place can be defined as relational, historical and concerned with identity, then a space which can not be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity will be a non-place…. Place and non-place are rather like opposed polarities: the first is never completely erased, the second never totally completed; they are like palimpsests on which the scrambled game of identity and relations is ceaselessly rewritten’ Marc Auge (1992)

Adding to this foundation of what defines a non-place, authors such as J.G. Ballard, Italo Calvino and Iain Sinclair have speculated over a new ‘transience’ perpetuated by the onset of super modernity.   

‘What you find on the periphery of Greater London…..is there is kind of diffusing airport culture that involves CCTV cameras, dual carriageways, video rentals, marinas, endless low cost executive housing.  A new kind of England with quick access to the nearest airport.  This is a world where a new transient England has come in to be.’ J.G.Ballard (2002) 

I intend to question contemporary  artists and theorists’ views of the non-place with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of the individuals’ position and connection with it.

The non-place has been the subject of many artists work.  Andreas Gursky in his piece ‘Ruhtal’ presented a series of photographs that looked at the motorway as a non-place of super modernity.

 gursky_ruhrtal.jpg

The vast motorway flyover that looms over an almost idyllic green field makes the work quite unsettling.  This gigantic product of super modernity dwarfs the individual walking beneath it.  It personifies alienation and a loss of identity with our landscape.  This is one premise that I intend to oppose within my own work. 

Visual artist Hans Op de Beeck approached he concept of the non-place with his installation ‘Location 1

 image_1798.jpg

The scene depicts a desolate crossroads landscape.  The only movement that remains here is the traffic lights repeatedly blinking through their automated program with nobody present to obey their commands.  This work shows a non-place (albeit an artificially constructed one) that at this point in time is not being affected by the movement of bodies through.  Although this work allows us to reflect on space, it completely detaches the individual from it and this alludes to a certain negative quality.  I feel there is more to the non-place than this, I want to find some beauty within it and a relevance to us. 

This ‘modern’ way of moving through a space that Ballard for one refers to is what I want to explore.  I want to investigate in what ways does this movement of transient bodies through the non-place affect and define our perception of it? Is the non-place defined by our interaction (or lack of interaction) with other human beings within it? Does this new transience to any extent overlap into our definable  reality, places as opposed to non-places, and can it potentially become concerned with identity?   

Outcomes

I want to experiment with the figurative and the non-figurative and also a juxtaposition of the two.  This most probably will be presented in the form of a video installation using sound, light and video. 

Currently I have two ideas:

I may project a collection of films that show non-places  that have been redefined by personal experiences.  For example, I might film locations where car accidents have happened,  I would present these as a series of dates, then using motion sensors, allow the viewer to touch the projection to choose a date and be able to move around the space to some extent.  Methodology wise this process would offer the viewer some control over how they experience the space.  It would also contradict the fact the victim of the car accident had little control over their experience on that date. 

My other idea revolves around how we interpret movement within the non-place.  I want to film my movements through non-places with the footage deliberately out of focus.  The idea is that this process will remove all definable objects within the space and all the viewer will be left with is the movement of the shapes and colours.  By just presenting the movement I feel this may show the non-place in a more pure form, stripping back the definable objects that may affect our perception.  I would want to show three films simultaneously on a medium to large scale, and imply the use of motion sensors that would allow the viewer to start and stop the videos using their own movement.  My intention is for viewer to question how their own movement affects the non-place as well as the movement of others.

Media

·      For compositing and video manipulation I want to learn how to use the program ‘Motion’

·      For the colour grading process, I want to learn how to use the program ‘Colour’

·      For video editing I will continue to learn how to use ‘Final Cut Pro’.  

·      For audio I will use ‘Soundtrack Pro’

·      For motion sensor technology, I will use the program ‘Pure Data’.

·      Video Projector, DVD player/computer.

·      Motion sensors (The implementation of an Arduino board to trigger an object sensing a presence)

·      Audio speakers and equipment.

·      For motion sensor technology, I will use the program ‘Pure Data’.

·      Video Projector, DVD player/computer.

·      Motion sensors (The implementation of an Arduino board to trigger an object sensing a presence)

·      Audio speakers and equipment.

Methodologies

I want to explore how we experience the non-place. My research into artists and theorists that have approached the concept of the non-place will formulate the foundation from which I will make new observations.

I want to utilise motion sensor technology to allow the audience an element of control over how they move through and experience the space.

To achieve this I will use the program Pure Data.

I want to experiment with dialogue and visuals to see if I can connect that space to another individual’s experience of it.  I want to see if this process can redefine how we perceive a space.

I will use my blog to record all my developments.  I hope to keep this quite informal by documenting my thought process and personal observations of my own position with regards to the non-place

My processes of experimentation both visual and literal will be evaluated using an action/reflection methodology.  I want to record all the successes and failures of my research as it progresses and use this to further my engagement and understanding of my subject matter.

I want to use mind maps to connect my thoughts. 

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