Tag Archives: Non-Places

1972 – Going Places II

How do you cope with picture overload? Well, I know how Juha does, he just posts an impossible series of pictures every day and does not sweat about it. But how do you mere mortals, people like you and I, do it?

In my case processing Saturday’s images cost me most of Sunday. I made some Sunday images, macro shots that I took at home, but so far I didn’t even find the time to copy them to my computer.

On Saturday I had to go to a shopping mall in Villach, and although we had guests in the evening and I knew I would have to cook, I had at least an hour to stroll around and take pictures.

It was a sunny day and there were many options. After leaving the mall I could have been in an entirely rural area within ten minutes. Instead I decided to take a walk through the not-so-fashionable outskirts of Villach.

When I started it, I did not exactly know what I was look in for. I merely followed a feeling, but while I took pictures, a terminus rose to consciousness: “Non-Places”.

You probably know the term, there is a book by Marc Augé called “Non-Places: An Introduction to Supermodernity“, this is the book that coined the term, but even if you (like I) have not read the book at all, you certainly know places like those that the book talks about.

Non-places are places that lack character, places that we normally don’t even recognize as such. The importance of the concept lies in the fact that most of our environment consists of non-places and of the fact that more and more places are converted into non-places.

Don’t get me wrong, a non-place can be very interesting as a photographic subject, although or especially because it lacks full definition. Non-places are blanks slates that we can use to write our stories. They are useful as artistic devices just because they are so omni-present.

Non-places have always fascinated me, they show up in much of my own work and you’ll also find them in the works of some of my blogger friends. The non-placeness of so many of his subjects may be part of the irritation that Mark “The Landscapist” Hobson‘s images cause to so many of his viewers, and whenever Juha does not take images of landscapes, he pictures non-places.

If you still don’t have an idea of what I’m talking about, I can recommend the curated Flickr group “Non-Places“. Just click on “Slideshow”, lean back and immerse yourself. Don’t forget to come back though 🙂

The Song of the Day is not a new one, I have already used it in September 2009, then for a post about the non-placeness of Auschwitz.

The Song of the Day is again “Going Places” from Mod-Father Paul Weller’s 2002 album “Illumination”. Enjoy it on YouTube.