2012 Highlights

Sophie Hoyle

16 May 2012

Sophie Hoyle

Sophie Hoyle is a writer and artist living and working in London, with a background in Human Geography (UCL), and postgraduate Fine Art (CSM, UAL). Hoyle’s interests span a range of aspects of urban living from individual phenomenological experiences of the urban landscape, to wider socio-political issues of the built environment. She has been involved with a range of organisations that approach the city and debate its issues (TINAG: Soapbox, Art & Architecture, Archway Investigations and Response, Silent City), and has taught with Diego Ferrari on the Photography, Art and Architecture course at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

Abstract: Visual technologies, artistic subversion and the contemporary urban

In this paper I will look at the use of visual technologies in mediating and re-presenting experiences of contemporary urban life. I will also look at artistic practices that criticise and subvert these technologies to portray a different understanding of representations of the urban realm than their everyday or commercial use. This paper will broadly interlink a range of themes across Urban and Cultural Geography and the Visual Arts.

     With processes of modernisation and urbanisation in the twentieth century came a new consciousness and new ‘ways of seeing’, and a different sense of spatial understanding. This was both informed by and helped give rise to new representations of urban space in film and photography. Throughout the twentieth century and into the ‘digital era’ the introduction of cheaper and smaller camera technology instigated a shift from specialist to consumer representations of place, whilst increasingly mobile technological apparatuses changed how we engage in the urban landscape itself in the act of making representations. I intend to look at photographic and filmic images not necessarily as ‘records’ of a place, but as objects and acts that help us re-evaluate our experience and understanding of place.

     I will look at visual artists who use and expand on these media such as Diego Ferrari whose customised camera allowed panoramic montages possible prior to the use of digital editing software, as well as the use of photo collage in the work of Frauke Dannert and Maaike Anne Stevens, all of whom explore London landscapes in their work.