Photos Bradley Garrett
In his newly published book, EXPLORE EVERYTHING: PLACE-HACKING THE CITY, the author and British urban explorer Bradley Garrett describes the appeal and background behind many place hackers motivaion to take the risk that comes with urban exploration:
London is, by many accounts, the archetypal, impenetrable fortress city. The financial district is circumscribed by a ‘ring of steel’, a security and surveillance cordon surrounding the City of London […], and heightened security measures were reinforced by 9/11 in New York and the 7/7 Tube bombings. The construction of these types of spaces has meant that the security architecture familiar in airports and at international borders – such as cameras, cordons, bollards and even biometric readers – has begun to appear in our neighbourhoods. […] Over the past four years, the city has seen countless reasons to increase security measures in order to match an imaginary ‘threat level’: the Pope’s visit, the Royal Wedding, the Queen’s Jubilee, the 2012 Olympics. And yet after each of these events ends, the security levels remain ‘heightened’; the surveillance infrastructure remains in place.
Ironically, it is exactly these types of places that are most permeable to the urban explorer, because the more complicated a system becomes, the more weaknesses there are to exploit. As Dan Salisbury, another London explorer, told me, ‘At some point you have to say: “Fuck the consequences, I need to connect with this city, and if I have to work a little harder for that feeling, then so be it.”’ […]
Urban explorers countermand those securitisation and distraction efforts through trespass, reporting back to the public with blogs, photos, videos and prose, bringing the hidden to the fore.
Order the Book Explore Everything from Amazon.
Crack The Surface – Episode II – Episode II takes a look at a small collection of explorers from across the pond in America and Canada, focusing on their participation and experiences within their local and global exploring community.