work in progress- work commencing safety dependent
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I am driven to observe, experiment with and then facilitate opportunities for change in urban environments. My particular interest lies in how people engage with urban ‘non-spaces’. Non-spaces, described by Marc Augé as ‘spaces of circulation, consumption and communication’, are places of low cultural, social or symbolic significance; through-roads, a means to an end rather than a destination and seen generally as cold and inanimate. The unfriendly human experience in such spaces usually prompts people to keep their heads down and simply rush through – I aim to leaven those repressive feelings by showing such spaces a little care.
My work hones in on their routine use. When a space is designed with a certain function in mind as urban landscapes are, a purpose that has driven it to exist and be used as it is, I am intrigued by the opportunity for alteration in that function. Tapping into the innate almost childlike human curiosity aroused by change, I try to open a dialogue between the space and the audience by using text and phrasing questions to them. Questions with no answers, chairs with nothing to wait for, crafted structures with no apparent purpose – these are tools I have experimented with to divorce people from the unthinking routine of the everyday and bring about a new emotional awareness of the space around them. These works are experiments to see what small interventions can achieve. The smallest change of spatial function, of bodily movement, of physical occupation, can increase that audience awareness of these seemingly empty, purpose-less areas.
The distance between myself and the work means the interactions take place for the most part in my absence. Due to the nature of the work I keep photographing or videoing it in use to a minimum in order to elicit a more organic untainted response from my audience. While implications of my interference with the space can therefore go mostly undocumented, I find most value in the candid participation of my audience over the duration of the work; I want audiences to feel unobserved, to feel uncertainty in how to behave or interact with the changes.