From Non-Places, Marc Auge
‘This is me in front ofthe Parthenon,' you will say later, forgetting that when the photo was taken you were wondering what on earth you were doing there, causes a break or discontinuity between the spectator-traveller and the space of the landscape he is contemplating or rushing through. This prevents him from perceiving it as a place, from being fully present in it, even though he may try to fill the gap with comprehensive and detailed information out of guidebooks or journey narratives.’
Place(lessness) is a site-specific research project exploring the boundary between space and place, specifically in Dungeness.
Place and space cannot be considered as absolutes but rather as a spectrum, where non-places have the potential to become places.
Undertaking an experiemental research method to understand Dungeness’ topology, I made a series of interventions to push the boundaries of how much of place Dungeness could be. I created the ‘2nd pub in Dungeness’ and undertook long-term drawing sessions to engage with visitors and residents. Through these interventions I found that Dungeness’ status as a ‘place’ fluctuates; to the resident it is a home and a constant whereas to the visitor it is a space, a landscape to be admired from a far often hidden behind the camera lens. As a result, the visitor most often fall’s into Marc Auge’s rules set out in Non-Places that to the visitor often makes a place, a non-place through the use of a camera which creates a a ‘discontinuity between the spectator, traveller and the space of the landscape’
To make Dungeness more of a ‘place’ to the visitior, I created a series of devices and mechanisms that encourage the user to engage more closesly with the landscape, whilst participating in photography. The resulting mechanisms break down the boundary described by Marc Auge, as discussed above, and allows the wearer to experience the landscape more deeply rather than just percieve it through a camera lens. The user now relies on Dungeness’ unique topology to capture images of the landscape.