Falkirk Wheel, Panoramic view.

Falkirk Wheel, Panoramic view.
Image by Cameron Lyall, GNU license Wikimedia

26 June 2011

Can you take a photo of Post-industrialism?

While walking the streets in Dundee I tried looking for sure-fire photographic proof of post-industrialism. A picture that could sum up all that we are learning. I wanted to represent the economic forces moving us from our industrial past into the post-industrial future. This seemed to be a challenge.

The most obvious answer would be an industrial building sight being torn town and replace by a post industrial one. The more I thought about it the more challenging it become.

Post-industrialism is the result of global economic and technological forces entwined. How can you take a picture of that? A picture of a closing auto plant and it’s replacement thousands of miles away, A robotic factory component and the four people who previously did that robot’s work in twice the time, Maybe a picture of a super carrier and global logistics of shipping that allow it to be cheaper to split a large factory into ten smaller plants.

The best picture I could find was this, but it needs a bit of context.

It’s the backside of the Dundee Contemporary Arts building. Architecturally it works. The modern glass building rising out of a brick and mortar base. Modern materials replacing older ones with a design that conforms to the site.

Historically it does too. It’s an Art’s center that features international works rising out of an old Jute storage building. The artwork within is full of new technologies weather it’s an interactive installation, a foreign film shot on digital HD cameras, a learning center, a restored classic film or well, a bar and restaurant serving Patrons of the Arts.

Patrons of the Arts is a term that has changed for the last hundred years with the rise of technology and prosperity. It used to be that only Kings and the very wealthy enjoyed art, then merely the rich and now anybody can walk into the DCA and be a Patron of the arts.

The backside of the DCA and the DCA itself are good examples of post-industrialism but they are still lacking. It is not a complete picture but it’s a start.

1 comment:

salvo said...

Adam, your post reminds me of Soldier's Field in Chicago that, to me, looks a bit like a space ship landed on top of the old stadium: as in this picture.