Interrupting Time: A Photographic Examination of the Perception of Urban Temporality

Jones, Rachel. 2012. Interrupting Time: A Photographic Examination of the Perception of Urban Temporality. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (Doctoral thesis)
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Abstract or Description

This thesis examines how time is perceived in the urban realm and what role the visual field plays in this perception. My research aims to gain insight into how a unified sense of time is reconciled with the fractured nature of urban temporality. I will investigate the perception of urban temporality in terms of the notion of duration, as theorised by Henri Bergson and Gilles Deleuze.

Fusing artistic photographic practice and sociological theory to interrogate the virtual realm of the city, this thesis attempts to present a nuanced reading of the everyday urban sphere, de-familiarising the everyday in the tradition of Surrealism and transforming the mundane into the sublime. My aim is to make apparent unnoticed or unconscious everyday activities in order to examine the relationship between the individual and the whole of the city, using the moving image as the basis for this investigation. By breaking down moving images into stills and examining the relationship between the still and moving image, I will interrogate the ways that moving images can help us to understand the relationship between the parts and the whole. I will present three photographic projects, each exploring a different yet interrelated element of perception (difference and repetition, the panorama, and light) from a nuanced perspective in order to disrupt existing notions of these elements.

In researching the virtual urban realm, I consider whether it is possible to go beyond representation and beyond the human realm (as Deleuze proposed) in order to reach a domain of pure difference and pure presence. By interacting with the urban sphere in a dynamic capacity, a new understanding of the virtual life of the city begins to emerge, which I will argue has potentially important ramifications upon visual sociological research.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)


Visual Sociology, Urban, City, Time, Space, Photography, Video, Digital, Virtual, Art, Perception, Deleuze, Virilio, Sublime, Surrealism, Panorama

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Date Deposited:

25 Mar 2013 15:48

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 13:42


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