The writer and artist presents Seamless Transitions, exploring the relationship between technology and immigration.
James Bridle, Still from Seamless Transitions (Inflite Jet Centre at Stansted Airport)
"What The New Aesthetic examines," James explains, "Is how contemporary life is co-produced by people and networked technologies. When experiences are mediated by automated systems." Following on from his work with drones at Bold Tendencies, and Mirrorcity at the Hayward Gallery, Seamless Transitions began in 2013 with Bridle starting to collate information from witnesses and planning applications to re-build hidden sites of immigration. The project will shed light on the associations between the ways that immigration and detention use technology by using technology to reconstruct immigration and deportation centres.
Working in collaboration with leading architectural agency Picture Plane, Bridle will open up three sites, Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre at Heathrow; the Special Immigration Appeals Court in the City of London, whose design is informed by the need to present evidence in secret; and the Inflite Jet Centre at Stansted Airport, a private terminal used after hours by the Home Office to deport rejected migrants.
"I first became interested in issues of citizenship when I discovered, through my work on drone killings," James explained, How we treat those with contested citizenships is one of the greatest tests of humanity, and how we choose to debate and discuss that treatment is one of the greatest tests of our democracy. The reality however, is that real debate becomes impossible when the process happens behind closed doors, in restricted areas, and in the middle of the night."