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The Archaeology of Silence: Empowering the Individual in a Control Society

Part 2 Project 2013
Adam Skidmore
University of Lincoln Lincoln | UK
The project’s theoretical underpinning is rooted to Michael Foucault’s disciplinary societies, which led to the analytical deconstruction of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. Like Foucault, the film explores the relationship between institutions and the ‘docile bodies’ that are transformed by their mechanisms. In this fictional analysis, patients are portrayed as architectonic manifestations that respond to disciplinary power.

This binary opposition has been physically explored by implanting the developed narrative into RAF Nocton Hall; a once institutional space. The narrative represents individuals who are subjected to disciplinary control. As the analysis is rooted to Foucault’s methods, the individual’s perspective is unearthed and empowered. The power balance is inverted as they observe the transformation of the decaying site.

The brief tests the notion of binary opposition within a contemporary context. In the Postscripts on the Societies of Control, Deleuze argues that we are moving away from Foucaults disciplinary society, and towards a new social formation, called the control society. We are in the midst of a general breakdown of all sites of confinement. Instead, ultra-rapid forms of free-floating control are taking over. Corporations now have social control.

‘Man is no longer man enclosed, but man in debt’.

Bolton is appropriate due to its increased development of commercial shopping centres and the simultaneous input of loan shops. The building sits above the banks of the river Croal, which contains remnants of old institutions. These have since been infilled with crude late bars, strip clubs and taxi ranks. The place is illicit and generally avoided. The brief embraces its immediate urban context as an area that contradicts the commercial areas of the town. The legitimate face of the site is a loan office on the first floor, which conforms to the control society. It’s assumed that the site will initiate activities that undermine conventional social and economic conditions. The lower floor is simply a bar. However, its immediate urban environment and the ambiguous spaces within it might facilitate clandestine meetings that respond to control society. Similarly, the ground floor might see black market transactions in a space that is simply labelled ‘Market Place’.

Adam Skidmore


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