Sound, memory and interruption: ghosts of London's M11 Link Road

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Abstract

This chapter considers how art can interrupt the times and spaces of urban development so they might be imagined, experienced and understood differently. It focuses on the construction of the M11 Link Road through north-east London during the 1990s that demolished hundreds of homes and displaced around a thousand people. The highway was strongly resisted and it became the site of one of the country’s longest and largest anti-road struggles. The chapter addresses specifically Graeme Miller’s sound walk LINKED (2003), which for more than a decade has been broadcasting memories and stories of people who were violently displaced by the road as well as those who actively sought to halt it. Attention is given to the walk’s interruption of senses of the given and inevitable in two main ways. The first is in relation to the pace of the work and its deployment of slowness and arrest in a context profoundly shaped by dominant forms of automobility. The second concerns how the audio walk conjures past realities in the present through its deployment of radio transmitters lining the route, and how it thereby troubles the times of place through forms of haunting. The themes are developed through attending to the project’s material form as a time-based sonic work designed to last one hundred years, and through considering its dynamic relations with the pasts, presents and futures of the area as the city itself changes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCities Interrupted : Visual Culture and Urban Space
EditorsShirley Jordan, Christoph Lindner
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Publication date2016
Chapter5
ISBN (Print)9781474224413, 9781474224420
ISBN (Electronic)9781474224437
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • sound, audio walk, memory, interruption, hauntology, automobilities, slowness, M11 Link Road, Graeme Miller

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