Obstructions

(2018)

Publication, A5, 100pp
Book/MA dissertation,
110x210mm, 56pp
Blog
Film, 7 mins, 16:9
Symposium/screenings
My MA dissertation examined the presence - and proliferation - of actors that control and monitor public behaviour in our urban spaces.
    The project started life as a study of objects and signs I encountered around a one mile stretch of the A1 in nearby Islington, gathered into a 100 page publication.

Sample pages from the 100 page publication.

The publication catalogued its subjects’ locations, along with a visual record - in most cases a close-up, contextual shot and the object/sign’s POV - and a translation of its presence and meaning. 
Blog images.

The project developed through workshops, studio experiments, discussion groups and presentations, which I recorded on my Process Blog.
    It interrogated
what we understand about the term ‘public realm’ and homed in on the presence and visual language of prohibitive objects and people (rather than written signs) in our urban landscape; culminating in a dissertation and short film.
Sample pages from the Obstructions dissertation.
The dissertation proposes that public spaces can be divided into categories and sub-categories, and it examines the level of ‘transaction’ within each as well as the presence of obstructions.
   The gallery pages contain pictures of obstructions informally grouped by their intentions, or ‘prescriptions’ as Bruno Latour described them; as well as their primary material, ie, signs, plastic, tape, wood, glass, planting, stone or human in uniform.
    The images are placed closely together to prod at our visual experience of the urban environment, to reveal the invisibleness of obstructions, and their scope through variety and ubiquity.



Obstructions of King’s Cross concentrates on a London area that has undergone rapid gentrification in recent years. It compares the presence of obstructions within the area’s three distinct zones: its major transport hubs, privately-owned public spaces, and edges - where signs of its former deprivation can still be seen.