Maps

I decided to have a look at some different maps in order to find some inspiration for our own maps.

Below is an image of a road map we discussed road maps in our group and we recognised that one of the colours ‘Red’ is also a common colour of the way main roads are represented. As a result of this correlation we have decided to do our main roads in ‘Red’.

map

I also looked at body maps as I am intrigued by the internal journey that our project will take our participants on.
Some internal maps are used to detect heat and subsequently mood changes. This map really intrigued me and I thought the colours evoke a reaction for those who look at them. I will be interested to see what colours our participants use when creating their own maps and how they reflect mood.

Lecture (Week 6)

This lecture marks the half way point of the module and its time to start making !

I was particularly excited as today we made a trip to a local arts and crafts shop that Kayleigh had located. While there we brought A1 mound board for our bottom layer as we decided that it would be more sturdy that simple card. We also decided to create a 3rd Layer for a map by getting relevant letter to hang above our map representative of our title, we decided that we would cover these in relevant pre-existing maps from the area.

When went back to the archive in order to check in with Hilary and start our map. We discussed what we wanted from the map and after much discussion decided that we did not simply want to copy a pre existing map but instead make or own take on the map that we have found from 1870. We then sat looking at the map and started transferring the main landmarks on to our own mount board. We did so freehand and in pencil paying particular attention to our four chosen landmarks;

  • The Church
  • The Station
  • The Gas Work
  • The Bridge

We then allocated decided on a particular landmark each to go away and research so that we could start making the information packs.

I chose the church as I am intrigued by the silence that it offers and the way it compares with other landmarks in terms of noise.

Below is an image of the local arts and crafts shop that we got our materials from, it was great to locally source our material which means every part of our project will be part of the area.

Islington

Site, Non-Site, Off-Site

Rendell, J. (2006) ‘Site, Non-Site, Off-Site’ in Rendell, J. Art and Architecture: A Place Between. 

Rendell explores the ideas behind site and non-site and off site. The writer examines the work of Robert Smithson who created the iconic artwork ‘Spiral Jetty’. The work itself focuses on going back to the origins of the object and the material. However there is a lack of connection to participant in this work as the only interaction is through photographs. Rendell presents this work as part of a movement of land artists, artists that make an intervention in the land itself.

Rendell goes on to explore the concept of the moving of site to different sites, Off-Site. An example of this is a gallery in which a site is transferred. Rendell also explores the idea that sites have ‘outer limits’ and ‘outer coordinates’ and non-sites have ‘closed limits’ and ‘inner coordinates’.  Rendell presents the idea of land art as a critique of gallery movements as they presented are as a commodity.

Critical Analysis

In relation to our own project the idea of the project not having an interaction from participation is interesting. However our project aims to engage the community as participants not spectators

This reading also looks at the dialogue between the indoor and outdoor. Our project takes place in both a site-specific and gallery setting, inside and outside. I was interested in whether the combination of these different mediums could create a performance that means that participants can take part and embed themselves into the site and influence it through their presence.

Lecture (Week 5)

This lecture began with an exploration of the reading by Pinter.

Points Raised

  • How do we write our city ?
  • What are the different ways in which a city can be written ?
  • Through walking we can discover our city and rediscover it
  • Pinter presents the idea that ‘Urban Exploration’ can document a city from individual perspectives.

After the discussion of the reading we met to discuss our proposal. After altering a few terms and grammar our feedback was positive. We were asked to make a more clear example of the actual proceedings for the day and the logistics of it.

Below is our proposal;

Site Specific Proposal

We then made the following plan;

  • Participants enter the ‘proud archivist’
  • They are introduced to the project
  • They are given a piece of paper with our four landmarks on and it is explained to them what is expected of them
  • They then have 15mins to walk around the installation look at the maps listen to the sound recording
  • They are then given 1 hour to complete their walk
  • On their return they are asked to fill in their individual sheet with their own maps in whatever form the wish
  • They will then be asked to place the maps on a table to create one large map
  • Finally they will be aske to leave comments in the comment book

After clarifying the logistics of our project we had a discussion about the materials that we would need for our maps.

Bottom Layer

We decided to create a layer that would be a drawing of our chosen area from 1800’s as inspired by the map that we located in the archives. It will also contain 3D models of our chosen Landmarks. The map will take the theme of colours from the colours we most often see on our walks;

  • Black
  • Grey
  • Green
  • Blue

and red from the Hackney coat of arms this to bring the connection of the area closer to the physical element of our project.

Below is the image that we found of the coat of arms;

Hackney Coat of Arms

Materials;

  • Thick Card
  • Pens
  • Maps (For 3D landmarks)

Top Layer

This layer is to be our sound map made out of acetate that will be suspended above the bottom layer so participants will be able to see the contrast between the past and present in the area.

  • Acetate
  • Acetate pens

We plan to source these material during our next lecture.

Arts Of Urban Exploration – Pinder

Pinder, D. (2005) ‘Arts of Urban Exploration’, Cultural Geographies, 12(4), pp. 383-411

This text examines the different way in which Art can be used to explore space and place. This is given the term Urban Exploration and can come in various forms such as walks, installations and most relevantly to our work mapping. It is argued throughout this journal that these mediums can be used a city intervention and even a way of citizens claiming back their city.

Pinder explores an incident in which a series of artists took part in a march with homemade instruments through the streets of New York city. This is a perfect example of an intervention and was claimed to be about public space and establishing what is public and what is private. This was questioned by NYPD officers who took a critical interest in the proceedings some even declaring that there is no such thing as a public space.

The reading then continues to explore an increase of frequency in such events. stating that their are issues with expressing the city through due to cultural diversity and subsequent cultural diversity. This concept was originally explored by practitioners who had the desire to blur the boundaries between art and the everyday perhaps this is most prominently presented by Richard Schechner. (Please find previous analysis of his work below)

The examination of the private place in terms of art is incredibly interesting and has been extensively examined by scholars and practitioners alike. Pinder places an emphasis on the significance of exploring cultural geographies within cities stating that the different artistic interpretations go a long way to claiming a city by its occupants as opposed to those who run it and authorities who dictate it.

Critical Reflection

This reading with regards to my own project poses certain ethical considerations.

London is not my home town does that mean I am appropriating a city?

Will the work that we do intervene or will it blend into everyday life?

I feel that the aim of our piece is to achieve the latter, create an internal reflection about what is observed in our city as opposed to claiming our city. I hope that our project settles itself comfortably in the public of the city while creating private musings and reflections. Through this combination of public and private we do not wish to create participation confusion but instead facilitate a relaxed atmosphere.

Schechner Reading

Schechner approaches the ever growing question that is “Performance” with an open mind offering many concepts and explanations throughout the reading. In the first instance the text explores performance as an everyday activity, introducing the theory that to exist we need to perform it is an essential part of everyday life. Human nature in many instances compels us to succeed and ultimately to impress. Schechner portrays the theory that in order to satisfy our need to excel we “Perform”, in an attempt to show-case talents and capabilities effectively,  influencing and impressing those around us and ultimately fulfilling the age old human desire to be accepted and achieve a “normal” status amongst everybody from our peers to parents. Within this idea Schechner identifies differences   between “Performing” in the Arts and “Performing” in everyday life through four key concepts; ‘Being’ (to be alive and that alone ‘Ultimate reality’) ‘Doing’ (to action while you exist) ‘Showing Doing’ (Performing through everyday actions) ‘Explaining Showing Doing’ (Performance within the Arts).

Schechner continues to look at “Performance” as a part of everyday life, presenting the idea of restored or twice-behaved behaviour. In the Arts this is the rehearsal process. Schechner writes about rehearsals in the context of everyday living, with the theory that childhood is life’s rehearsal period and adulthood is the “Performance”. When we reach the “Performance” stage, normally construed as the point at which one reaches adulthood, it is not definite but instead dependant on when we adapt to the life that we have been handed. Although many of our actions are repeated and therefore effectively rehearsed, the ways in which we repeat actions can and do alter according to mood; even in the Arts no two shows are ever exactly the same as they change according to the choices the performers make the audience reaction and the genre. The same concept is applied to performance in everyday life, as our actions alter according to whom is watching us and what mood we are in. Schechner goes on to highlight that just because most actions are repeated and not “new”, originality is available when one changes the context or the order of actions.

The exploration of “performance” continues throughout the passage with the author later discussing the various varieties and purposes of “performance”. He expresses the idea that the purpose of performance can alter according to the person’s needs or interest’s, different varieties of performance that ultimately have different purposes.

Finally Schechner examines the difference between ‘as’ and ‘is’ performance; ‘as’ performance allows one to examine any action or behaviour  thus encompassing a wide variety of notions and concepts under one umbrella term “performance”. ‘Is’ “performance” contains definite boundaries and is decided through more concrete ideas such as context and tradition. Despite highlighting the fundamental differences between the two approaches Schechner goes on to contextualise the idea stating that the boundaries between them are slowly disbanding due to Twenty-first century ideals that that include the desire to break down boundaries of all kinds.