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An Introduction to Non-Places

These non-places are throwaway moments. Our brain compresses them into a single point. We wipe them away in dreams. They are not living moments, but robotic moments. These scenes are rows in a spreadsheet.

When looked at from the outside, we take these formerly compressed moments of time and decompress them, using slow motion, to unravel microexpressions and movements, as people pass through forgettable time.

A place is a site where the individual has a form of identity, relation and history.

A non-place strips the individual of these connections.

A person in a traffic jam is “on hold”, a human on an automated phone line is “on pause”.

The community of human destinies is experienced in the anonymity of non-place, and in solitude. So there will soon be a need — perhaps there already is a need — for something that may seem a contradiction in terms: an ethnology of solitude.

– Marc Augé, Non-Places, “Epilogue” (p. 96–98)

When presented with so many moments of the meaningless and mundane,
the viewer is invited to consider the value of anything at all.

How can a single moment  be considered more important than any other moment? 
How can time in one space feel different than time in another? 

What moments are important enough to resist compression?

In the situation of supermodernity, part of this exterior is made of non-places, and parts of the non-places are made of images.

Frequentation of non-places today provides an experience — without real historical precendent — of solitary individuality combined with non-human mediation (all it takes is a notice of a screen) between the individual and the public authority. […]

– Marc Augé, Non-Places, “Epilogue” (p. 96–98)

Time & Space

The Nature Here is Buildings from Clamber on VimeoScreened at the Faux Faux Film Festival in Portland, Oregon, September 2018.

We live our lives made up of a great quantity of isolated instants.
So as to be lost at the heart of a multitude of things.
- The Double Dream of Spring, 1970

Tuesday Oct 5 2021