Having flirted with the idea of romance, fashion and dark themes, Spon Street offers a slightly more raw and personal outlet for me to explore. As previously outlined in ‘a week of my life 2010’ my father committed suicide, in Gevinson’s House, across the road from Spon Street on 25th February 2010. On the night of the suicide my father walked down Spon Street, across Meadow Street onto Gevinson’s house. And so upon browsing the maps given to us, I thought this could be a highly interesting, however morbid, place to investigate and photograph. But before delving too deeply into my fathers’ suicide and final moments, I wanted to research crimes that have happened in and around Coventry, specifically acts of violence and drug use, as these elements engulfed the larger part of my fathers’ life. It also links with the philosophical idea presented by Skinner that human behaviour is merely a product of the environment in which we are placed.
Philosopher B. F. Skinner saw humans as no different to animals, rebelling against the more romantic idea that human action was the result of inner emotions, thoughts and drives, otherwise known as the ‘psyche’. Skinner was more inspired by Pavlov’s work, which indicated humans should be analyzed as physical beings interacting with their environment. However, Skinner went beyond this with his theory, ‘operant conditioning’ a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. Through these rewards and punishments, an association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior. This philosophical distinction allowed for the incredible variety of human difference, while allowing adhesion to the behaviorist line that humans were basically creatures of their environment. With this theory in mind, it makes me wonder how far my father’s environment; the seedier side of Coventry, truly had an influence on his destructive yet pleasure seeking behaviour.
Below are some maps that highlight particular crimes in Coventry.