Chases Through Non-Place
 
 

For 'Chases Through Non-Place', Battery Operated made video and sound recordings from eight non-places - the airport, hotel, convenience store, train station, petrol station, casino, gym and bus station. For each architecture a video/sound track has been constructed which uses location recording only. Subsequently the finished tracks are a mixture of processed and non-processed video/sound; the processed video/sound being the structural material (metaphorically the neurotic architecture) upon which the non-processed material is laid, in a semi-chaotic fashion acting as the metaphor for the chase. The initial seeds of the project laid in the notion of attempting to make chase video/soundtracks for certain buildings in the urban complex. Thus the spaces we worked with are what Marc Auge termed in his 1995 book - An Introduction to the anthropology of Super modernism - as 'non-places' and by his definition he claimed that - 'If a place can be defined as relational, historical and concerned with identity, then a space which cannot be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity will be a non-place'. He goes on to say that 'non-places are a real measure of our time' and he goes on to list examples of these non-places; ' airport and railway stations, hotel chains, leisure parks, large retail outlets and finally the skein of cable and wireless networks that mobilize extraterrestrial space for the purposes of a communication so peculiar that it often puts the individual in contact only with another image of himself'.

We also view these non - places such as the supermarket or airport as arenas of what anthropologists call 'cultural contract'. In this sense the movement, actions and communications of a public who are constructing part of their daily lives within these coded architectures have become automated. Surveillance systems, serial strategies of similitude and neurotic architectures format the movement of those who inhabit them. Chase narratives are resonant narrative vehicles to question these spaces, as they are by nature chaotic and contingent. There is no planning for the chase as such. Thus it transgresses the repetitive and neurotic codes or contracts acted out in structures that demand such complicit behaviors. By propelling a mobile vehicle of narration through the corridors, waiting rooms and no go zones of the non-place we can daisy chain and record the new experiences of solitude to be found in the super-modernist urban surround. Replacing Michel de Certeau's 'passengers' who move in accordance to directions and signs with bodies who invest in potential collision, disruption and cross communication…pursuits undertaken in order to re-establish agency within banal utopias.


Images from the 'Chases Through Non-Place' videos


Still image from the 'Chase through 6.10' video


Still image from the 'Chase through 4.49' video


Still image from the'Chase through' 6.21


Still image from Chase through' 6.16