Mark Adams has photographed in the streets of various cities for several years, observing routines of strangers and anonymous passers-by. SW6 is a departure from traditional ways of exploring street photography from a remote location that provides a degree of autonomy not readily available when photographing in the street. His process does share some characteristics with traditional street photography – the choice of the 35mm format, working quickly, not planning or directing and observing, intuitively without judgement.

This project is influenced by the psychogeographic movement and the literary figure of the flaneur. The flaneur creates strategies for observing the flux of daily life through wandering the streets.  

Adams is interested in the idea that immobility can achieve equally interesting results, inverting the notion that when living in a city, we are often close physically, yet psychologically forced into detachment. Distance leads to voyeurism and allows the observer to view the city and its occupants as a spectacle.

‘Cities unlike villages and small towns are plastic by nature. We mould them in our images: they, in turn, shape us by the resistance they offer when we try to impose our own personal form on them. In this sense, it seems to me that living in cities is an art, and we need the vocabulary of art, of style, to describe the peculiar relationship between man and material that exists in the continual creative play of urban living. The city as we imagine it, the soft city of illusion, myth, aspiration, and nightmare, is as real, maybe more real, than the hard city one can locate in statistics, in monographs on urban sociology and demography and architecture’ - Jonathan Raban. The Soft City

Mark Adams 

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