1 An image released by EuroTunnel depicting the use of IR scanners at the entrance to the tunnel in Calais uses sheep in place of human bodies. The substitution of an animal body in place of the migrating human body evokes questions about the representation of people and the propaganda of surveillance operations. In 2015, a rumour that in one night 2200 refugees stormed the EuroTunnel to get to the UK was picked up and sensationalised by the Daily Mail, proven false by Calais local reporter Philippe Wanesson.
2 In the region of Puglia near the town of Foggia, ‘Art Village’ is a self–organised treatment centre and accommodation for refugees and their families who are suffering trauma. Equipped with a self–sustaining garden, common rooms and recreational arts/sports facilities, it also has a small farm with chickens, lambs, goats and rabbits as therapy for the residents. Animal therapy is a common technique used to treat people suffering from PTSD, isolation and anxiety.
3 In the ‘Speaker Recognition Evaluation’ report released by researchers from the US Department of Defence, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, SRI International and MIT in 1998, a method of evaluating biometric pro les is created. Humans are classed into four biometric pro les collectively called ‘The Animals’ – sheep, goats, lambs and wolves. The pro les correspond to the animals behaviour in the wild: sheep represent the default biometrics of the general mass, goats are rare and difficult to identify, lambs are easily strayed and mimicked, whilst wolves can steal and imitate the biometric pro les of others.
In these examples I am interested in how sheep/animals become unexpected vehicles for discussing geopolitics, migration and surveillance. I would like to propose a series of short research trips throughout the Netherlands, to different sheep farms and locations they can be found. I would like to know more about the movement and management of sheep, so speaking with a herder would be of interest. Stichting Rhedense Schaapskudde is a centre just outside Arnhem which organises sheep herding tours (19th May).
I am also looking into the ‘Borders and Infrastructure Expo’ taking place in London on 20- 22 June and have registered for a complimentary pass. The expo focusses on products and solutions for security issues relating to national infrastructure, border and immigration control, scanning and surveillance operations. It would be interesting to see these operations as products in a commercial environment and to analyse the aesthetics, design and propaganda of the event, like the image of the sheep at the EuroTunnel.
A gated complex of luxury apartments for British
‘Ex-Pats’ looking to relocate to the French coastline.
Safety deposit servers where USB drives are
delivered to containing the personal information of undocumented people.
Points of defence for microwave interference, aerial geographies of surveillance and invasive imaging technology.
A squat for humanitarian protection applicants on their way to the UK.
A community of artists occupy and gentrify the ruins where the
‘Biennale de Calais’ is eventually held.
Reality is a simulation and the coastline is actually
a circuit board of nodes inside a computer.
Each site declares itself as its own microstate.
Future 39: Brexit squats.
Rented out in a new initiative by AirBnb as
Calibration points for satellites.
Cheap co-working flex-studio spaces for business start-ups complete with coastal view.
An intense solar are devastates the networked city and they become safe-houses from deadly data fallout.
Landscape is dark circuitry
Dissolve and blend in, they told the documented
Landscape is dark circuitry, a cloak of low visibility
I’d heard rumours of a temporary squat where the horizon had dropped low
A liminal territory where crests of sea peak within line of sight
Bleached earth and barbed-wire to the border
To leave the city, you should grab onto the cloud
Obfuscate along with the birds
Who became clandestine car headlights on the coastline
It’s a game of access ports
To slip through and evade the uneven surfaces
Of fibre optics and concrete walls
It’s not possible to memorise the route and it’s patrolled fiercely
Become airborne, become viral
Become scorch marks ripped from the low-hanging horizon
In the foggy periphery
Your face, your identity and your biometrics
Are hidden by a tactical haze
Through a universal opening in the land, you can upload yourself
Shrouded in the darkness, you are a piece of the untraceable network
Absorb into the ground
Let yourself be hidden in plain text
The UK border agency is defined by the established Kingdom or where a relative under section 10 does not intend to remain in the UK. To enter the United Kingdom and work, a migrant must be available to the immigration rules for visitors. Under paragraphs 245h and 245f of the housing act 1985, any person granted leave to remain currently is sponsored to overseas accreditation. The applicant has not been approved until means of acceptance for studies accompanying the application are registered with the immigration directorate. These rules and social services agency for the purposes of section 2142c are recognised by the home office administrative authority and/or financial dealings act 1999. Leave granted by virtue of regulations made under article 135 of the immigration act 2007 state pension credit framework which leads to a recognised award for entry clearance must hold a valid document certifying permanent residence issued under the tier 5 temporary worker migrant '94 rules. In force of appendix a of these rules, the certificate of entry checking will not include a precessional course of study or research programmes which are equivalent to UK border bodies, or a body in receipt of public funding as a tier 1 entrepreneur. As amended by no more than half of a person who is applying for leave, these rules and settled obtainers leave under section 10 of the national reform service. Of the period beginning with the requirements of sponsorship checking, entry clearance is assessing the United Kingdom border agency caseworker where entry into the UK without valid leave is sought to remain in the United Kingdom. Migrant granted by virtue of the welfare funds act 2002 in accordance with section 30 of appendix a then ending on the basis of which ancestry means a migrant who is granted leave can enter the UK permanently. These rules and means of state are satisfied under subsections 3 and 4 of the British overseas territories.
Truth Mapping – Proposal 1
In my initial research proposal I outlined my interests in developing an ‘alternative map’ that documents flows of migration and displacement. I would like to revisit this point and by using the material collected in Calais think critically about the process of mapping.
I’m interested in an argument made by Jamon van den Hoek (Forensic Architecture) during his presentation at Sonic Acts about the tendency of maps – satellite images in particular – to be read as pure scientific data. This reading can lead to a distanced understanding of the images, which portray events, conflict and displacement as much as documentary photography. Jamon also comments on the lack of an extreme close up view in satellite mapping, where detail is lost in the overview of a land mass. Additionally in my own findings, I’ve noticed satellite images on Google Maps to be unrealistic representations of sites in Calais, where the view of the former Jungle is an outdated image of lush vegetation and grassland.
The issues I would like to address are:
– Satellite maps are seen as scientific data and distance human understanding
– Satellite maps lack the fine detail of close up views
– Maps are concerned with creating a ‘perfect’ view of the world and hide flaws
– Google maps are often censored or inaccurate, creating a disparity between real research and online mediated information
– Google Maps images are owned, copyright and privatised
– Traditional mapping isn’t concerned with making abstract interpretations
I will dissect and experiment with the raw material collected in Calais, including video, images and sound, to produce alternative records that represent critical ground truths e.g. the paths of destruction and the archeological detritus left in the former site of the Jungle. I would like to reimagine the map as a multi-layered entity, representing the architecture of the Stack, where the act of ‘moving through’ information may give a better understanding of vertical and horizontal geographies.
Through experimentation I would like to ask:
– How the process of mapping can become more transparent, human and grounded in reality
– How these images can potentially represent finer detail
– How maps should not only be accurate in representing visual truth but also political or social truth
– How maps can be open and begin to circulate freely to make information visible
– How mapping methods can be abstract or interpretive e.g. representation of the vertical Stack
The Atlantic Wall: Supercomputing Platform – Proposal 2
Located on the peripherals of Europe, Calais is a site of contestation and change, home to different flows of migration over time. In processing my thoughts of our visit, my mind continues to return to the use of space by the various ecosystems at play, contributing to the overall temporality of its surrounds. The architecture, infrastructure and land of Calais appears to be in a permanent state of transit, constantly adapting to the new demands enforced by different migrating bodies. This evolves through a rapid terraformation of space, where the purpose of architecture and land is constantly being rewritten and redefined. I am interested in two examples of architecture around Calais:
1. The Atlantic Wall
During the occupation of Europe by Nazi Germany, the coastline of Calais once formed part of the Atlantic Wall, a system of defence infrastructure including bunkers and military obstacles built between 1942 and 1944. The bunkers are currently in ruins but still standing. In our interview with Philippe Wanesson, he mentioned the bunkers were once temporarily occupied by refugees while the Jungle was still in place. On my visit to the bunkers at Calais, I studied their architecture and surfaces, setting up my own temporary workspace inside.
The Info Bus is a mobile architecture made from a converted police horse van. It uses a tall mast to connect migrant camps to mobile Internet. Realised by the NGO Worldwide Tribe, the bus provided Internet to the former site of the Jungle in Calais, informing residents of their rights, current affairs and giving the ability to contact friends and family. I am currently in contact with Sophie Dyer, a designer who worked with WWT to create a guide to guerrilla wifi and the ‘electromagnetic commons’. Sophie is also personally interested in the architecture of high frequency trading relays that occupy the coastline of Calais, where communications from London’s financial centre to continental exchanges are made possible.
I would like to develop a speculative fiction in which these architectural narratives might converge, where the ad hoc repurposing of space might lead to a new use of the abandoned military bunkers. The bunkers are much like nodes in a network, positioned at regular intervals along the coastline and spanning France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. I see a poetic relation between these defence nodes and how the architecture of the Stack operates, which looks to occupy and transform space into ‘supercomputing platforms’. I plan to collect further video and photographic documentation from other sites on the Atlantic Wall, gathering an archive of visual research of the architectural network. With the help of Sophie’s guide and the LUST workshops, I would also like to investigate prototyping and setting up my own guerrilla wifi connection at one of these sites.
A Field Guide to Architectures in Transit
Located on the peripherals of Europe, Calais is a site of contestation and change, home to different flows of migration over time. In processing my thoughts of our visit, my mind continues to return to the use of space by the various ecosystems at play, contributing to the overall temporality of its surrounds. The architecture, infrastructure and land of Calais appears to be in a permanent state of transit, constantly adapting to the new demands enforced by different migrating bodies. This evolves through a rapid terraformation of space, where the purpose of architecture and land is constantly being rewritten and redefined. Layer by layer, complex geographical, political and architectural histories develop, leaving a sense of dislocation and transience. The following list is a field guide to the different flows of migration in Calais and the relevant architecture(s) that have evolved to fit their needs.
1. The Atlantic Wall
During the occupation of Europe by Nazi Germany, the coastline of Calais once formed part of the Atlantic Wall, a system of defence infrastructure including bunkers and military obstacles built between 1942 and 1944. The bunkers are currently in ruins but still standing, home to migrating flocks of birds and amateur explorers who upload their videos to Youtube. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1XcVb8RZZw) In our interview with Philippe Wanesson, he mentioned the bunkers were once temporarily occupied by refugees while the Jungle was still being used.
2. The Eurotunnel/Port
Completed in 1994, the Eurotunnel connects the UK and France by a 50km undersea railway. The operation has created its own unique architecture – fences, carparks, the tunnel itself, roundabouts and immigration checkpoints – that negotiate different migrating bodies such as freight trains, trucks, cars and individual passengers. Meanwhile the Port, with the similar architectural infrastructure, offers transportation by ferry to Dover in the UK. Both the Eurotunnel and the Port have their own security architecture, with thermal imaging, passive millimetric medium wave (PMMW) scanning and sniffer dogs to inspect cargo in transit. (http://www.eurotunnelfreight.com/uk/safety-and-security/controls)
3. The Jungle
Named ’The Jungle’ by its inhabitants, the camp is located on an expanse of wasteland located next to the coastline which became an endpoint for many people migrating from the Middle East and Africa to the UK. The site was chosen for its proximity to a motorway, where migrating people would try to break into trucks en route to the UK via the Port or Eurotunnel. The site became partially territorialised by its inhabitants, where people from the same or neighbouring countries would set up camp together. Now demolished, the site lays empty to be redeveloped to its ‘former’ use as a site of natural beauty, becoming host to greenery, wildlife and man-made lakes. Our trip coincided with the minister’s visit to the former Jungle, where there were a number of banners attached to fencing showing future plans for the site.
4. HFT Relays
Located in the surrounds of the former Jungle are large high frequency trading (HFT) microwave relays that connect London’s financial centre to international exchanges. These tall towers create an invisible layer of migrating signals that densely occupy the coastline of Calais. Moving faster than any other trajectory in the region, these microwave signals can cross the channel at speeds of 25 milliseconds, whereas the ferry carrying human passengers will take one hour and half. (http://visionscarto.net/hft-in-the-jungle)
5. The Info Bus
The only mobile architecture listed here, the Info Bus is a converted police horse van that uses a tall mast to connect to mobile Internet, realised by the NGO Worldwide Tribe. The bus provided Internet to the former refugee camp in Calais, informing residents of their rights, current affairs and giving the ability to contact relatives. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZyfSnRHuso)
Traces left at the Jungle, Calais.
Trace Relations – Pre-Calais Proposal
The act of travelling through the horizontal and vertical geographies of networked space is a leaky process. As Benjamin Bratton describes, ‘the (cloud) layer absorbs metadata about each thing and each relation of exchange’ in turn linking ‘any person, thing, animal, building, car, plant, or smart mote into supercomputing platforms’. Agents moving through the infrastructure of land, roads, airports, warehouses, data centres and security checkpoints will leave behind visible and invisible traces of information, often without consent. Examples of this may include geocached locations, noise pollution, biometric information, CCTV footage, dropped litter and waste, IP addresses or even scent molecules. I am specifically interested in these traces and the feedback loops they form.
Port de Calais is a passing point for many routes of migration, where I will document and make visible the traces left behind by migrating parties. In mapping these, I wish to show how together these traces are not just isolated incidents but form a larger interconnected transaction. I will begin my research at the site of the former jungle, rst looking at the physical traces left in the soil by bulldozers that cleared the camp, then mapping this trajectory as bodies are displaced. I will collect my ndings in multiple ways - images, video, data, audio and measurements - and produce an alternative map of Calais that is de ned not by traditional borders but the traces left by migrating bodies.