Accepted Paper:

Disappearing into Night  
David Kendall (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Paper short abstract:

'Disappearing into Night' explores how infrastructural transformation, energy generation and consumption in Doha, Qatar effects acoustic and ocular landscapes, thus uncovering and modifying past and present connections between people, architecture and digital infrastructure in the city.

Paper long abstract:

In Gulf cities the rapid development of urban infrastructures, transforms the built environment. At night in Doha (Qatar) artificial light and buildings fuse together to form fresh visual landscapes. In these settings electrical light sculpts new architectural backdrops, reorganises boundaries and visually erodes soon-to-be forgotten neighbourhoods, erased by structural change. Moreover, if an entire city is imagined as an archive, the buildings in Doha are not only sites of infrastructural order, but become politically and socially active through destruction and reconstruction. Overlaid by an assemblage of digital signals produced by communal activities, and a multitude of events created by inhabitants in particular places and moments in time. These ever-shifting edge conditions create fertile ground from which the urban imaginary can arise from the Anthropocene. Furthermore, the project explores how the electromagnetic spectrum seen by human eyes and image sensors merges with radiant flux, the unseen light-energy emitted and received by Information and Communication Technologies. 'Temporality' is conceptually important in practice development and the perceptual experiments analyse how sound effects vision, and 'listening' exposes and transmits unseen audible phenomena to form new temporal objects - an afterimage of a spatial experience or atmosphere in the sky glow enveloping the biosphere. As a result, recording both the audio and visual elements observed on journeys made on foot fuses the acoustic and ocular landscapes thus uncovering new connections between people, architecture and digital infrastructure in the city.

Panel P077
Urban Memories: Mobility, Materiality and Photographic Practice