Non-Places

“The world of supermodernity does not exactly match the one in which we believe we live, for we live in a world that we have not yet learned to look at.  We have to relearn to think about space.” –Marc Auge

Describing Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, Douglas Coupland asserts, “O’Hare is the acme of metaphysical nonplaces dreamed up: the realization of technology’s secret goal of placing Plexiglass sheeting between ourselves and the world. Jets and turboprop commuter planes may well be the vessels in which drama occurs, but the hub is the stopping of time; human biology divorced from narrative and nature.”

While working on an assignment called NonPlaces I discovered there are nonplaces all around us. Places where it is hard to determine the actual use or meaning. Places that are ambiguous in nature, perhaps unsettling, or ironic. Places like a dead end, a vacant lot, public space with a surveillance camera. Places that no one really inhabits, but simply passes through. I found quite a few. A trail through the forest, a residential street that dead ends at a diary farm, mailboxes for an undeveloped housing complex, and a lonely bridge that seems to go nowhere.

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