Loop: the stupid things that adults do


Vale, S. and Carlyle, A. 2015. Loop: the stupid things that adults do. Burton Press.
AuthorsVale, S. and Carlyle, A.

Loop: The stupid things that adults do

The Thanet Loop is a bus route that circumnavigates Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs. This continuous service acts as a conveyer to the community, delivering children to school, patients to the hospital, commuters to their places of work and shoppers to town centres. In its own modest way ‘The Loop’ circulates life through Thanet, creating a pulse or a perpetual rhythm.

The project ‘Loop: the stupid things that adults do’ explores the idea of a circular journey with the intention of investigating repetition. In his book ‘Rhythmanalyisis,’ philosopher Henri Lefebvre identifies two types of repetition, circular and linear. Circular repetition develops from the cosmos and occurs naturally in days, seasons, tides and phases of the moon. While linear repetition is a social construct, imposed by structure, which can result in monotonous behaviour, such as daily commutes or routine visits to the dentist. These two patterns of repetition consistently and repeatedly effect and interfere with each other, creating patterns and sequences that are part of daily life. These cycles overlap and infuse, as individual patterns of behaviour briefly entwine within the enclosed space of the bus. Furthermore, in bringing together separate individuals or trajectories there cannot be any absolute repetition, as there will always be an interjection of difference or unforeseen circumstances.

The aim of each image is to record the duration of a full circuit of ‘The Loop’ in one single flat image. Repeating exactly the same journey on different days and at slightly varying times, the work explores the differentiation that can occur in replication. All the individual journeys, commutes and routines are collocated and re-presented into a distinct image for each loop. The resulting images have two titles; the first is a code that relates to the time of the trip, marking it out through a classification process. The second is produced from the conversations overheard on each particular journey.

Photography as a medium is fatally intersected by temporality; the camera reduces everything to a still frame, objectifying it through a process. Time and its complex rhythms are simplified, to a state where they are traces of what has passed. Photographs as images are removed from the continuous pressures of time, allowing the subject to be contemplated, examined and considered at leisure. In order to record the whole journey within a single image, the photographs are taken using a purpose made pinhole camera. Slowly absorbing the changes before the lens, each image becomes a representation of the journey and what passed before the camera on that specific excursion. Each unique image is characterised by the people using the bus, who punctuate the journey by choosing where the bus stops. These interruptions leave an imprint within the photographs produced. However, the main emphasis of each image is the light absorbed by the film, capturing the mood or atmosphere of that day. Thanet is renowned for the unique quality of light, which has attracted artists such as J.M.W. Turner to the area. This variation and luminosity of light comes into focus through the series and creates a unique collection of images.

PublisherBurton Press
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print10 May 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited27 Oct 2016
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