University of Sussex: BA Media Practice
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Canal Connections

Canal Connections

Bianca McGlashan

‘Canal Connections’ is a multimedia project incorporating both photography and sound in order to create a visual and audible space which represents the collective social consciousness. Inspired by the thought-provoking stillness of the Grand Union Canal, this project explores how we share the same dreams. This project consists of a series of solo portraits of characters met on this canal, accompanied by an audio piece using content from interviews with these individuals on their dreams for society. This project aims to encourage viewers to think about the unique relationship between their own mind and the people around us, as well as capture the current condition of London’s social consciousness today.

’Canal Connections’ draws influence from the sociologist Durkheim, who describes society as not “an arithmetic sum of individuals but as a new personality distinct from the individual personalities”, describing a collective consciousness as the voice of this new personality, which Durkheim saw as a ‘new substance’. (Durkheim, 2012). Presenting the consciousness through the methodology described in ‘Canal Connections’ can be seen as an expression of Durkheim’s notion of a ‘new substance’ which while drawn from individuals, functions in its own unique way.