Stijn Van der Linden – An essay on the concave city corner

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An essay on the concave city corner is in-depth analysis of a personal collection of photographs of concave city corners and forms an exploration of the transformation from space to place. More specifically it is about how the city becomes a place. Many social geographers pondered the question of how place compares to space. There exists consensus about space being the more abstract form while, on the other hand, place is marked by identity and experience. For instance, an assortment of spaces like streets and buildings in a city can become a familiar neighbourhood to people that get to know its street corners and landmarks. So is it in the perception by people that spaces become places?

Concave corners are an example of typical spaces found in any city. They are the reflex interior angle of a concave polygon, where in this case the polygon stands for a city block or a single building. How are these corners to contribute to (parts of) the generic city becoming more specifically linked to personal experience, and the perception of the city as place? And how can the act of photography assist in street corners becoming place? Visibility is an important contributor to how space and place are perceived. Because photography is the predominant tool of contemporary visual language, to what extent is photography capable of contributing to a sense of place, to the genuine experience of a city and of cityness? How could photography capture the placeness of cities, or at least some of its crucial spatial features?

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