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Title: Place hacking : tales of urban exploration
Author: Garrett, Bradley Lannes
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 2302
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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Urban exploration is a practice of researching, discovering and physically exploring temporary, obsolete, abandoned, derelict and infrastructural areas within built environments. Through charting the rise to prominence of a London urban exploration crew between 2008 and 2011, of which I became an active member, I posit that urban explorers are one of many groups reacting to increased surveillance and control over urban space by undertaking embodied urban interventions in the city that undermine clean spatio/temporal narratives. The primary research questions stem from my attempts to interrogate the practice from the inside out: Who are urban explorers? What does it involve? Why do they do it? What do they think they will accomplish? While the thesis focuses primarily on 220 explorations undertaken with my primary ethnographic group in London between 2008 and 2011, it also speaks to the urban exploration "scene" that has developed over the past twenty years in cities all over the world. The results that emerge from the research both compliment and complicate recent work within geography around issues of surveillance, resistance, hacking and urban community building and lays out a new account, never before outline in such detail, of the tales of urban exploration taking place in temporary cities across the globe. This visual ethnography is comprised of text (75,000 words), photographs (200) and video (10 shorts). the ethnographic video components can be found on the Place Hacking video channel located at . I suggest watching all 10 short videos before reading this thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: urban exploration ; urban ; exploration ; built environments ; London ; space ; buildings ; ethnographic ; surveillance ; hacking ; urban community