Becoming Surrey: Journey Through the Invisible City is an exploration of an urban environment, its point of view influenced by W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz, further informed by the writings of Lewis Mumford’s The City in History and E.V. Walter’s Placeways that together provide theoretical perspectives to my Journey Through the City of Surrey, where the sense of Place is defined by unique historical legacies and topistic qualities. Becoming Surrey as a ‘Journey’ uses photographs and reflections to identify and confront the 'topistic reality' of 'modernity' evident in the built world of Surrey in order to describe and construct an atlas of ‘The Invisible City’. My intention is to answer Walter’s riddle of “What is this Place?” Becoming Surrey consists of two intersecting paths by which to understand Surrey as a Place. The written component uses selected historical references, conversations and experiences that occurred in the course of academic and artistic research. The photographs continue my artistic practice that relates to a tradition of street photography that explores the landscape and pathways in order to expand the spirit of the written narrative. The reader and viewer are invited to synthesize both word and image into a consciousness of the complexities of experiencing the City of Surrey as a Place, yet this word / image dialogue entertains topistic ambiguities that suggests neither is capable of standing by itself nor does it offer an immutable representation of the Invisible City.
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