Photographer Alan Knox is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography. From his project ‘Uncanny Valley‘. To see Alan’s gallery of projects click on any image.
The village of New Lanark, nestled in the Clyde Valley on the Falls of the Clyde became world renown in the 19th century as one of the earliest examples of a Utopian socialist community. Saved from near destruction after falling into decline in the mid-20th century, today the village thrives as a popular tourist attraction, having been designated a World Heritage Site in 2001 for the continued relevance of Robert Owen’s ideals and as an exemplary model of urban planning. Alongside New Lanark’s role as a tourist destination, some 250 people continue to live in the village for whom this beacon of Utopian philosophy is simply called home.
Uncanny Valley explores the dichotomy which exists between New Lanark’s past and present, contrasting it’s dual role for visitors as an almost perfectly preserved model society with the current residents whose very homes, kitchens and living rooms are World Heritage Sites, symbols of a bygone yet persistent Utopian ideal. In the valley which lies between past and pastiche, the ruins of utopia stand side by side with it’s uncanny reconstruction, signifying the cognitive dissonance which exists between the dreams of the past and their present reality.