One of my objectives is to research various ideas of the non-place, with the intention of eventually focusing on just one. Currently I am looking at non-places that have the most relevance to me, the motorway, the train and the supermarket.
One of the things I found interesting about Iain Sinclair and Chris Petits ‘London Orbital’ was the observation of the M25 as a continuous circle with no beginning or end to the journey, there is no destination. Because it is continuity the road perpetuates the boredom that we may associate with being in transit, this characterises a conventional attitude to such non-places.
Sinclair like Petit set out to challenge this notion of the M25 being the ‘worlds biggest car park’ and to find some interest and meaning behind it. The M25 is about continuous repetition, the very nature of this perpetuates a boredom that becomes a constant battle compete with it. Through time. at some point, Sinclair and Petit became consumed by the very entity they set out to challenge. This is an affect I find particularly interesting. Is this an example of a more pure non-place?
For comparison, if we were to look at the A13 which is a road that I use to journey in and out of London, this road has a destination, it has an end, it is not like the M25 that is trapped in a cycle of infinity. The following excerpt is from an interview with Iain Sinclair and Chris Petit talking about an exhibition they collaborated on about a journey down the A13.
What I find interesting is that when walking or driving down the A13 you will reach the end. At some point your movement on the A13 will stop as you enter in this case either Aldgate or Southend-on-sea, your experience of the A13 has ended and your movement within that space does not exist anymore. One of my objectives is to try and understand what enables a non-place to exist, and I’m starting to think that movement is an important element that I should look into in more detail.
How is our experience of the space affected and defined by the movement of other people through the space, this transient collective?
What happens to a non-place when this movement is removed?
Time is measured by the movement of the earth around the sun, so how does this cycle affect the non-place? and in what ways do they change from day to night?