I'm particularly interested in these spaces as they occupy what is known as 'liminal space'. They are places on the boundaries of existence - they occupy a physical space, and provide a physical presence in the world that can be seen and felt, but they are denied their intended usage, and they stand alone, empty, and often unloved. A house without occupants seems to be half a house, while theatres that no longer host performances seem cold. They easily become sites of horror within popular culture - their existence on the boundary of life grants them a privileged position, and this position can become a portal, granting access to that which dwells beyond the boundary.
Urban Ghosts - that of the 'stub street', or 'ghost ramp', which form part of the so-called abandoned motorways of Britain. Now these are different beasts from the crumbling ancestral homes or faded picture palaces that I normally look at, and it's made all the more strange because I've even seen some of these fragments of road - but not realised what they were. I thought they were still under construction - I didn't know they had stood half-built for any period of time. This image is of the ghost ramps at M8 West Street in Glasgow (Junction 20), taken in May 2003 while the West Street on-ramp was closed for bridge works (taken by Ddmiller).
I think part of what makes these so bizarre is the way they encapsulate such an inherent contradiction. A street is intended to connect points A and B - they allow journeys to be completed, and the implication of a street is that it leads somewhere. These streets and ramps don't. They stop, often suddenly, and halt the progress of the journey. Points A and B become disconnected and the route is severed. Humans will naturally find another route, even if it means making a new one, but there's something unsettling about a road to nowhere.
What I do have to wonder though is...what if they aren't roads to nowhere? What if they do lead somewhere - what would we find there?
Main image by Darren Kirby.