311

by Latto, Mike

2007

Duration
10
Original format
video
Exhibition
Figuring Landscapes

An ambitious project to reinstate the eroded beach at Bournemouth involved pumping 19,500 metric tons of sand back onto the shore. Latto records the somewhat sinister night-time manoeuvres that restored the beach and contrasts them with the peaceful day-time scene populated by walkers and holidaymakers.

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In 2006 a £5 million project began to reclaim and increase the depth of Bournemouth beach pumping in 19,500 metric tonnes of sand dredged from the ocean floor.The film covers preparatory work, dramatic night impact digging and the final levelling of the sand by a fleet of bulldozers.The Bournemouth & Poole works have been a huge success and have inspired other coastal regions to apply similar solutions to their endangered shores. The film examines the industrial impact on the natural resource of the beach and its artificial construction.After work was complete and machinery removed (which included a 311), the levelled beach was awash with tyre tracks and lines leaving vast open sandy plains that resembled motorways and marked roads. Many beach walkers seemed cautious of the newly formed beach and walked around the circumference of the area.A musical score by the experimental musicians Little Scratch uses the industrial sounds of the machinery to create an accompanying soundscape of the restoration work. I am interested in man-made or enhanced landscapes, particularly in coastal regions. I am currently working on a study of the proposed surf reef in Bournemouth, which will enhance wave movement and surf heights and turn Bournemouth into Europe’s leading surf destination. These changes are designed to support tourism but the process is highly dramatic, the majority of people being unaware of the work taking place after dark.

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