I’m interested in how my project investigating the experience of the train journey from Marden to London could be interpreted if I read it from Marc Augé’s perspectives on non-places:
For Augé, our modern-day environment has undergone such drastic changes that non-spaces are proliferating; that is, places concerned with transport, transit, commerce and leisure. Seen from this perspective, the train itself and the railway stations of my project seem to readily fit with the idea of non-place; they’re sites of supermodernity that feel relatively unconnected to witnessed accounts of anthropological place and which make no attempt to integrate earlier places.
My particular journey does feel like it takes place in some sort of parallel universe – a kind of liminal space where I step outside of my normal life into somewhere ‘other’ that, as Augé describes it, has its own self-contained world of structure and rules. Certainly the journey I’m exploring feels less about the organically social aspects connected to place and more about the solitary individuality and contractuality linked to non-place. One could definitely say the experience is about the fleeting, the temporary and the ephemeral.
However, as Augé points out, nothing is black and white; there’s always at least a trace of place remaining in non-place and vice versa.
Reference: Marc Augé, Non-Places: An Introduction to Supermodernity, trans. by John Howe, 2nd ed., (London: Verso, 2008 [Non-Lieux, Introduction a une anthropologie de la surmodernite, 1992]). 1st ed. published 1995, p.7, pp.63:64, p.76
The next test projects a section of film through a transparent line drawing of a still taken from the footage itself. It forces the gaze to oscillate between the background scenery as it rushes past and the fixed outline. This outline remains static but every now and then it seems to become animated by the passing view.
I’m not sure this experiment does anything interesting in its own right but it does highlight the layers within an image – train window, foreground trees, background landscape – which offer rich possibilities to be further exploited.