Video sample, Channel 1, 4:56 Min. (loop)

A Case Study on Unbuilt Suburbia

UHD video, 76 mins, 2019

A Case Study on Unbuilt Suburbia is a two-channel video work. It consists of separate slideshows from what seems to be a (pseudo-)geographical survey of empty lots of land in the sprawl at the edge of an unnamed town. Through observational notes and short videos, the slideshows present an unusual level of detail for temporary and seemingly trivial characteristics but omit or obscure otherwise important information such as the location.

Although it is not mentioned in the work, the survey took a suburban block outside Limassol, Cyprus as its case study, identifying every parcel of land that could be defined – somewhat subjectively – as “unbuilt“. The parcels are described in the field notes in one slideshow and recorded as short videos in the second, along with some (uncontextualised) information about the lot’s land use and value.

As well as the location, the date of the survey is unclear – the videos show a timecode but not the year they were shot, and the material, filmed with an early HD camcorder, has a quality that makes it hard to date.

The work can be read as a sociological study of the use of undeveloped land in Cyprus, or as a record of how Cypriot suburbia grows haphazardly based on field boundaries set by the former British colonial government. But it also asks the viewer to reflect on the motivations of its author in conducting such a detailed and almost absurd survey of “empty” space.

The work was the result of research undertaken in spring 2017 during a three-month residency at the Visual Sociology and Museum Studies Lab at the Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol.

Video sample, Channel 2, 4:04 Min. (loop)