AN IDEAL FOR LIVING
An Ideal for Living is a body of work which examines how photography and computer-generated imagery (CGI) can be used to depict future aspirational urban life. It considers how the modern architectural environment becomes a geography of representation in the form of a construct for the camera, both in the process of its design and in its mediation to public audiences. It does so by focusing on the ubiquitous areas of redevelopment around London that are transforming urban space and, at the same time, erasing the memory of the past.
By mimicking the conventions of CGI, these ‘real’ photographs can exist somewhere between a detached documentary aesthetic and the simulated form of this new kind of imaging. There seemed to be a paradox here; on the one hand the photographs refer to conventions of realism associated with aspects of the documentary genre, but on the other, they are making reference to, and taking on the appearance of, a CGI simulation. One acts as a form of archiving the present to later be remembered and the other aims to project a set of social aspirations and desires for the future
Peter Bennett is a photographic artist and academic. His recent work explores the visualization of urban space in past and future time. Previous projects have examined the book, the sea and the materiality of the photograph, as metaphoric and material repositories of memory. His images often reflect upon the processes of forgetting and erasure in relation to the hastening structures of temporality that have accompanied the rise of modernity. He has an MA and MPhil in Photography from the University of Brighton and is currently a senior lecturer and course leader in BA Photography at the University of West London.