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Comments on Weeks 5& 6 Readings-2013

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URBAN LANDSCAPES AND HISTORY: ARCHIVING THE SITE

ENGAGED ORGANIZATION: INDEPENDENT ARTISTS FROM NEW BEDFORD

25 replies »

  1. Booth: Making claims

    Reading this chapter I learned the difference between a conceptual and a practical argument, and realized our project will be considered practical because we are solving a specific problem. This was helpful to realize because it including points we should aim to prove in our presentation (is it feasible, implementable, the best alternative, etc.). So far, I think we are on the right track to having all of this points covered; it is a very doable project and is a cheaper and faster alternative that destroying or completely renovating the building. This reading also helped me realize that we must be specific and thorough when we work to incorporate the educational factor we are thinking about. We have to make sure it doesn’t hinder our whole project and that goes along with our overall claim.

    Booth: Revising

    This chapter was very helpful in terms of giving tips on organizing what will be our final paper. It pointed out a lot of common mistakes that I realized I do often when editing my paper. It stressed that the audience are not mind readers and that writers get too comfortable/ familiar with their paper to see mistakes. This is true but I often fall victim to this thinking anyway. It was also pointed out that the best way to edit is not by going word>sentence>paragraph like I usually do, but the opposite. It makes sense, because it is the whole of the paper that matters in the end, and not knit picking words, which I always end up doing. I will focus more on doing this type of editing for this paper.

    Johnson

    I really enjoyed this reading because it verbalized a lot of thoughts I have had and couldn’t put into words, considering grad school/rationale. I can speak for personal experience that, as an illustrator research is a huge portion of my time spent, especially since I am completing my degree project. We are required to a substantial amount of research for each piece we complete. I have taken out many books, visit sites, gone to archives, and taken many pictures. If research is not done, it is clear in the illustration and the message is not received. I think there is a difference between fine art classes and design classes, especially since illustration and other design classes are client-based. Fine art is always more open to interpretation and the plurality that the author takes about, where mystery and ambiguity is less accepted in illustrations because it keeps the idea from being communicated. I think this is why I am torn between illustration and printmaking; I enjoy the process of research and image making, but at times I crave the freedom and spontaneity of fine art.

  2. Allison Romero

    I read the “Using Sources” chapter and I first of all just want to say that I liked the writing in this. It wasn’t too flowery or dry, but got to the point in a concise way. There were many good points about how human nature dictates how we research–having a bias, not taking sufficient notes in your search, reading piecemeal, etc. It was interesting that even well-respected writers make mistakes when they interpret and record information. I was also interested to see that some of my own bad habits were not only mine; other scholarly writers make the same mistakes. If there are disagreements between sources, this is where the real test of bias comes into play. Overall, this chapter offered plenty of advice about how to research and make sure you have an objective point of view throughout the research.
    I also read the “Introductions and Conclusions” chapter to help me write better. It was helpful to see the different ways writers pose questions, yet all maintaining the same general structure. For example, different fields usually introduce their question in different ways depending on whether the reader will be aware of not knowing the answer. For example, those in the sciences usually are aware that they don’t know the answer to some big question. On the other hand, humanities readers might not have even thought of the question that will be raised. Therefore, writers in these different fields with introduce their question in different ways based on the reader. Again, this chapter was very rational and easy to understand. I think it really helped me think of writing as a structure.
    In Helen Johnson’s article, my favorite part was about how artists don’t always have a “rigorous rationale” when they create their art. I agree entirely with Johnson and would say that any real art is just as much an investigation on the artist’s part as it is for the viewer when they first see it. If the artists had all the answers or could write in a way that is as important as their art, why even make the art in the first place? Just as Johnson says not all art needs a hypothesis, art also doesn’t need an answer.

  3. Disagreeing with Sources
    When you read a story or a book the author always wants to keep the reader interested from the beginning to the end. Writing is one of the hardest things to do for some people who do not know how to start an introduction off the right way. In this chapter, it tells us that contradictions keep the reader attentive to your story, so the author used X, Y and Z so easily explain the different contradictions.

    Making Claims and Supporting your Claims
    Reading this chapter made me think more in depth about our group project. Deciding to create a park that only consist of recyclable trash, we want to lower the amount of trash that people do not recycle. Taking in from this chapter I would say that our project is a conceptual claim. This problem happens all over the world, but we want to make a difference in the community of New Bedford. There are two questions that we would have to answer to make our claim possible. What causes the problem? and How will it get fixed? These are questions that we are still looking into, to fix the problem of trash and to get the community to play a part.

    Helen Johnson
    Seeing this as my last year at UMD, I am looking at Grad Schools with a great Art Program. So I knew exactly what Helen Johnson was talking about in her article. One part got my attention, when she mentioned about a rationale on artist’s work. Sometimes when I create a sculpture I do not start out with a reason for my piece. As I work on it and work on it, it becomes something that I had created in the back of my mind but I did not know what it was yet. So trying to write about my intent or my reason for my work before I do it, is impossible. I personally don’t think that art needs a “rigorous constructed rationale”, I have a different way of thinking than others who come up with a solid rationale for their work. I create then I rationalize.

  4. Making Good Arguments:
    This particular reading that I focused on drew me in. I found it to be extremely helpful, especially since I will be focusing on the research to the group project. I am someone that does struggle with writing, because I end up repeating my supporting details, but in different words. This article helped me in explaining how to support your thesis. The article was right to the point in the explanations of how to support your argument. I very much liked how Booth showed thee readers what ways and argument is good and not. For someone that struggles with writing but needs to know it I found it to be most helpful and I will most likely use it when writing the paper for the group project.

    Disagreeing with your Sources:
    I found this article a little hard to understand, but still found it to be interesting. When thinking about it, I’ve never used a source and actually disagreed with it. I usually use sources to support my argument. However, I liked how it went into the explanation of different kinds of arguments of not supporting your sources. Though the article was very brief and to the point the last sentence to the first paragraph drew me in stating that you can use a disagreement to a source as the topic and a way to draw your readers in. This made me think of how I can use this in my research and how I could incorporate this in. Although it will be hard I would like to use this but I would need to do more research.

  5. Booth: Planning Your Project

    The voice in which this and many of the chapters from Booth are written are as if it were a training video, or a How-To video, which is useful. The tone is both friendly and matter-of-factly and is able to convey the aspects of his point successfully. What I learned from this chapter is how to accurately and specifically gather information and data for a project, instead of just searching for the broad topic and dumping information into a research paper haphazardly. Digging deeper into the nitty gritty of a topic will render you and your research paper better off, seeing as there are many questions to address with a topic. Considering the audience and their involvement with a topic is the one most important task when planning a research paper. If the audience isn’t involved or if the topic doesn’t contain their significance in one way or another, then how is it important? A good researcher would make sure to have an answer at the ready to that sort of question and be prepared to prove how their topic is relative to others. Planning a research paper (or research for any sort of project) must be involved, in-depth, and thoroughly thought out in many different ways before it can be labeled ‘complete’.

    Booth: From Questions to Problems

    This chapter is all about explaining the significance of understanding the difference between practical and research problems and how one should be used in understanding a topic versus the other. Understanding which type of problem to use will better focus the topic of the paper and will help include an audience and will help them to stop asking ‘So what?’. Once the question has a clear problem stated with a definite solution to the problem, the reader will feel satisfied and included and will want to further read about the topic at hand. Finding a good research problem widens the range in success granted to a good researcher.

    Helen Johnson:

    Understanding the need for research is critical in the field of art. While some artwork can stand on it’s own and not need an in-depth research analysis, most artwork would fall short. What I mean by this is that without having researched the background topic of a work of art you produce, the message you want to imply with your work will not likely be received or understood. It is important to know your topic and to be fully driven with the knowledge gained through research. I can relate to this because I have to do a fair amount of research for each illustration I produce in my classes. Even if the topic of an illustration seems simple, there was at least an effort of going out of my way to understand the topic more and ask questions that need answers. This is important when working in the field of illustration, because a client would not settle for something that is inaccurately made. I liked the closing paragraph of this excerpt because it made the valid point that art requires something beyond gaining knowledge in order for it to be produced. While scientific or over the top discoveries don’t need to be done, having a wide range of information and background on a topic is necessary to complete a work of art.

  6. Maura Silva
    Week 5 & 6 Blogs

    Helen Johnson
    Everyone learns differently and thinks uniquely. Johnson discusses about rigorous constructed rationale. Personally, when I create art I am not a sketcher and I do not really think about the reason or meaning behind what I created. I just start off creating something and it eventually turns out to be beautiful. It is mindless and relaxing when I am creating my art. I think that I do not give a meaning or much thought because I want people to interpret my work the way they want to, similar to the artist Cindy Sherman. She just goes with the flow. I know as a designer we should research and see what the client wants, but sometimes you are just inspired by an idea and you need to take it on then see what they say. But I do agree that research can be critical to art.

    Disagreeing with your sources
    In this chapter, it discusses the contradictions that keep the reader attentive to what you are saying. This article was a bit hard to understand but it made some good points I suppose. Usually people use sources to back up their point or argument. This chapter went into discussion on different kinds of arguments of not supporting your sources. It started to state that you could use a disagreement to a source as the topic and a way to capture the reader’s attention that way instead.

  7. The Craft of Research:
    – Chapter 6: Using Sources
    – Chapter 13: Revising Your Organization and Argument

    Reading the few chapters of “The Craft of Research” was very enlightening and I wish I had read this much sooner in my educational career. Not only will this be helpful in our endeavors in this class, it will also help me out and most likely others in their own respective Senior Design/Thesis Projects. In Section 6.2, something that really caught my attention was this statement, “Be especially wary of dueling experts. If Expert A says one thing, B will assert the opposite, and C will claim to be an expert but is not expert at all. When some beginning researchers hear experts disagree, they become cynical and dismiss expert knowledge as mere opinion. Don’t confuse uniformed opinion with informed and thoughtful debate” (95). The readings are very simple, well organized and it gives the reader many different options on how to go about certain aspects of researching. I especially love the fact that the authors highly suggest readers that when they are researching and trying to understand a source, they are free to disagree. They suggest to not accept a claim just because an authority or an “expert” asserts it, especially when the assertion is not well supported.

    Helen Johnson’s “Is the research your practice, or is the practice your research?”

    This reading was very interesting but unfortunately to me had no correlation. I could not fully relate to this reading compared to some of my peers. It was fascinating to understand and read about the struggles that art students face when they move forward to the next level of their higher education, undertaking a post-graduate study.

  8. Booth- Disagreeing with your sources
    I, unlike some others in our class, found this article to be rather easy to understand, i found it easy to understand due to the fact that Booth gave several different examples and techniques when it comes to disagreeing with sombody/ something. for example, Booth displays one type of disagreement as ” You can claim that others have mistaken the origin, development, or history of your field of study.” he then gives an example of ” although some have recently argued that the world population is rising, it is not.”

    Booth-Planning your Project
    I agree with Courtney when she says Booth speaks in a friendly manor and i as well feel like i am reading this out of a how to video; which i find very helpful and to the point. Booth does a great job in this chapter explaining a strategic plan to start a research project. He says to start in a library (as online research will be to broad to focus on one subject of study.) He then says to scan headings for topics that share your interests. Once you find a topic this way can you move to the internet so you can expand on this topic and obtain more knowledge. He also explains that if a given topic is too hard to find information on, it would most likely be a good idea to start over on a new topic or search.

  9. Today’s readings focused on the topic of research. The more interesting article focused on the meaning of research in the art world. What is the relation between research and practice to an artist? Research is such a simple act that we do so often every day, we just don’t think of what we are doing is research. But it is, nonetheless. For some research is a scary word, cloaked in mystery, but they just don’t realize you don’t need a lab coat to do research. I was surprised last year when I was told that the gallery and catalog I worked on was classified as research. As Helen says in her article ” research in the university context is often described as problematic … but it is a relationship without which the study of art … would not be able to exist…”. I knew I was doing research when I was writing my many papers for the catalog and presentation, I had to do research, how else would I have found information to elicit to the public. But the idea of the catalog itself being research was a foreign idea.

    You must do research in art. You must have knowledge of a situation that makes you want to produce something about it. Acquiring that knowledge to me is research. Putting that knowledge to use, to me, is practice. How can it be that something you produce is research? I can understand the idea that practice, in itself, can be research. It follows that after practicing you have more knowledge of yourself or your ideas. And after practicing again you grow more, and the growth is research just as the accumulation of knowledge is research. But the idea the a piece that is produced is research, I just can’t grasp. Maybe after class today I shall be enlightened. – research.

  10. Catherin D’Ignazio:
    I like a lot of the examples of Catherine D’Ignazio’s work from her talk and her website. Though a lot of them were more political and provocative than the projects we are doing, like the ones that focus on newfound fear in public spaces, the way she dealt with public space was still inspiring. For example, the photo-replica was successful in the way it forced people to slow down. Our project will not have such a strong message, but I hope it would also cause people to take a second look when they pass by, and take notice of the potential of the neighborhood. The area of flowers and vegetation may also highlight the large amount decrepitness still in the neighborhood, and encourage them to combat it by continuing to make similar improvements (which I feel coincides with the message of D’Ignazio’s work). I especially liked her proposal to have the largest potluck ever to highlight the diversity of Cambridge Street. This is the kind of event that I think would work very well in New Bedford, as we also have a huge variety of cultures, and I am sure there would be a lot of interesting food, music, and mingling.

    Worker Memory and Narrative:
    I enjoyed this reading as I did the other ones containing oral histories: I enjoys enjoy the insight and stories that come from this type of history more than the other types that are more objective and analytical. This reading, like the author mentioned, develops characters, and provides inside knowledge of the process of the plant closings, leaving out all economics and analysis.

    I found a lot of the observations made by the workers before and during the closings to be very interesting and dead on, and I think training workers to notice such patterns and trends would save future companies, or at least by workers more time to make future plans. A lot of them would realize when management would cancel lines or stop making repairs on machinery, so clearly they were not investing in the future of the company. Many blamed their managers for their lack of insight if the market and their inability to predict trends. Many also found their management to be very shady and have ulterior motives, such as moving to Mexico, and usually they were right. I found it interesting to read how accurate and acute many workers were in their observations, because many people take them for aloof and uneducated.

    The other thing I enjoyed about this was how optimistic the workers were; I was not expecting that. They saw themselves as survivors rather than victims. Many of them claimed they made it out okay and were happy with their current situation even of they are making significantly less money, had to forgo retirement, and loss vacation time, but they were more concerned with those who had it much worse. They were also more concerned with future generations. I feel like I got a lot of information and opinions I would never read in the majority of writings about plant closures.

  11. Worker Memory and Narrative
    This is an excerpt about the stories of people who have lived through the deindustrialization of cities. The first story we read is that of Danny Mann. This gentleman worked in a battery factory in Louisville Kentucky which closed down in 1995. His narrative starts off with how good his plant was at getting batteries to work. The employees of the plant worked hard, it was the management that was the problem according to Mann. He discussed that people though the plant was not going to close, but Mann knew better. A new manager came in and told everyone when the plant would be shutting down. When the plant shut down, Mann had trouble finding a job which paid as well as his previous had, but ended up enjoying the work better. The author then goes on to talk about how this experience was the norm. Many stories like this one exist, but are often short or don’t convey the way things really were. The author discusses how different people go about obtaining and presenting the stories. For example, there are folklorists who “have pointed out, recurring themes in an oral narrative.” I find this really interesting. When I think of folklore, I think of fantasy events. The folklore that is being discussed and analyzed in this excerpt is real life, yet people are able to pull out themes. Another interesting fact pointed out by the author is that the people whose stories are included generally “portray themselves as agents – not victims.” The author then moves on to discuss the causes of plant closings.

    Catherine D’Ignazio
    I think her work is really interesting. It is all very provocative and intended to get a certain reaction. Like her project where she had people in lab coats assuring people that everything was fine. The fact that there is someone telling people that would absolutely make me feel uneasy. Her work is definitely memorable to those who encounter it. I really like that she is able to bring attention to whatever issues she feels necessary. Another project I liked was the world’s largest potluck ever. Food is such a great way to bring a community together as well as show what the businesses in the area are all about.

  12. Allison Romero

    I read the “Worker Narrative” by Hart. One of the first things that stuck out to me in this article was about how the workers, after having been laid off, came up with very rational back-up for why management was the problem at the plant. For example, I even know from my experience that employees complain about their bosses at every job and there are often good reasons. However, these employees came up with good reasons (with support from others) of why the plant was less successful as a whole. They didn’t just complain, they established well thought out reasoning of what could have been done differently. I was also (initially) appalled at how the company would use loopholes to avoid being sued by the employees. It seemed unbelievable to me that any company could care so little about workers overall. At the end though, it was amazing to read about how their world view changed. Rob McQueen’s narrative made me think of the movie “Office Space” actually. One of the struggles of the protagonist is being unsatisfied with his working conditions. By the end of the movie, although his job pays less, he is happier working outside rather than in a small cubicle with miserable bosses. As seemingly simple of a concept as it is, I feel like people don’t stop and consider it for themselves. They go for a good, high-paying job and are unhappy; rather than taking care of themselves physically, they look solely at finances. It’s an interesting topic that should be discussed more I think.
    My favorite project that I saw of Catherine D’Ignazio’s was her map of Cambridge. It was interesting to see how people named locations based on either personal experiences or their knowledge of that particular place. It’s just another way that we memorialize people and events in our history and it’s how we keep it alive. I really loved that but I found it sobering to read about the increase of price as each location was taken. Although anyone COULD participate, not everyone would. Therefore, the people and events that were memorialized were chosen by those with money. This goes to show how our history is shaped by those in power (in this case, with money). Those who have an upper hand will decide what gets remembered and what gets forgotten. This was, in my opinion, the most thought-provoking that I looked into. However, all of D’Ignazio’s work was very interesting with controversial and political themes. The gallery with greeters and book about American fear vocabulary were daring endeavors.

  13. Julianna Thibeault: City of Collective Memory
    I like Magritte’s idea of a house inside the view of a window of a house. It can me interpreted differently to other people beside that the idea of a window is metaphorical and the exterior of the house can be hiding what the interior really is. Contemporary urban design has created a way to live and be in a city comfortably that is efficient and clean. The new buildings may not look as homely and cozy as older buildings may be, but they still hold a purpose in city living. It’s what these buildings make up to be a city. Although new and contemporary cities are great, there is still something special about old buildings. If you look past the rickety floor boards and peeling wall paper, the buildings hold a special story. It’s a shame that most old buildings in the city can’t be refurbished and kept for years on end because of the issue of money. Even if a building has to be destroyed, the memories and events that happened won’t be destroyed along with it. I agree with Italy to only preserve certain buildings and artifacts because you can’t preserve them all. To try to preserve all of the U.S. old buildings and artifacts would be too much to handle.

  14. On the work of D’Ignazio:

    I thought the work D’Ignazio does was very modern and relevant. Her piece about the evacuation routes of Boston was very interesting, and I thought she had some great ideas about how to present it as art. Many of her pieces seem to focus on the ideas of overlooked structures in our lives that may need to be more considered. There’s a degree of familiarity and comfort with her topics that may not be appropriate, and I like that she’s pointing this out. The assumption that evacuation signs are beneficial and will lead you to safety, for example. They may do that, but who would know? It’s just one of those things that people take for granted until the system either holds up or falls apart under duress.
    The border wall that she replicates at Umass Amherst is another example of comfort in assumptions. Many, many times in our daily lives we see America framed as a place our ancestors inherited by right, when instead it was something they took. The erecting of the wall shows that the land belongs to whomever has the power and not who inhabits it. You can see this play out in daily life by houses that get repossessed by banks and woodlands getting steamrolled for housing developments.
    The concept of a gallery as a safe space is another interesting contrast. Hiring people to tell visitors that everything was alright brings this false notion into focus. It’s probably best for our sanity that we assume things like this work and are for our benefit, but D’Ignazio pointing out these flaws in our reasoning shows some interesting cracks in our culture that we tend to ignore.

    The Article I Read was “Instruments of Memory”

    I thought this article did something that not many articles take the chance to do, and that was to take a balance approach to the issue. Many of the displaced workers did not want to frame themselves as victims, and the author of the article complied, and it made for a much more interesting picture of the entire situation. By pointing out and deconstructing the workers testimonies it showed that not everyone is really quite sure what is going on. I also think that by portraying the workers as human, and not victims, gave them a dignity that can get overlooked in the quest to make a group the most hurt by “the management.” They’re people too, flawed people, and they’re still deserving of respect and a good job as much as the next person.

    What this article leaves you wondering is what those in power were thinking. It becomes harder and harder to ignore what they did, and justifying it as anything other than greed. And if this is the case, you have to feel for the countries that these jobs got transferred to with even less regulations. If so many of the people that worked for them were relieved not to be going back to work because it was so dangerous, then what’s going on in the countries where there is even less oversight in the matter.

  15. >>>>>>Contiuation of “Worker Memory and Narrative”
    There was an interview with Danny Mann that stuck out at me. He made some interesting points about how the managers bad decisions and did not make sense. They were “foolish” to close down the plant because they had one of the best productions facilities in Kentucky. Mann states that their batteries were “Award-Winning, higher quality and made a profit”, so why shut it down? Employees also thought that the managers where just B.S.ing about their motives for closing. There were lies just spilling out of the managements mouths, left and right. Nobody really knows the real reason of the closing. But Danny Mann didn’t seem too upset. He agreed that the money was great but their was “unjust treatment” in the company, so he got a new job making less money but is much happier. Which in my opinion is better, because who wants to have a job that makes you miserable?

    Catherine D’Ignazio
    D’Ignazio’s political art work interests me to another level, being a sculpture major. I enjoy the instillation works and performing pieces, which seems like her thing. The Exit Strategy, was compelling idea, knowing that normally we as humans take advantage of things or do not really know what is going on or what could happen. I honestly could say for myself I do not think about the evacuation route at UMD. To record the actual happenings of her exiting the Boston and to take it to another level and add in how many breathes it takes was a brilliant idea. If she had just installed the Evacuation and not put in the 154,000 breaths I think it would not be as successful as it is. Another piece that I really enjoyed was The Border Crossed Us. This instillation was very powerful and it impacted the actually students at Umass Amherst. One of the students said that this instillation was annoying and how much longer is it going to be here. Well did you really here what you just said?

    The fact that the original Border crossing Mexico and Arizona was built over a Tohono O’odham ground was news to me. Lots of Native American tribes were destroyed for the government to put in the border. This did upset me since I am Native American and I know how it feels to get your land destroyed or taken away from you. We over look these things that D’Ignazio is trying to tell us and teach us, we don’t really know extent of it or we don’t want to.

  16. Instruments of Memory: National Heritage
    This section in the article discusses architecture, within cities, as a historical object to what was happening at the time that was being built. What surprised me was how Boyer mentioned how “city tableaux’ will be inspired by past buildings during times during moments of crisis. They do this in an attempt to regain the center of moral values. People such as Louis Phillipe and Ludwig valued these architectures and wanted to preserve them. This was happening from around the 15 hundreds to the 17 hundreds.
    However in the 19th century, the architecture was then considered to be antique and a symbolism of a dying world. The people felt that it should be cataloged as history and create the new world of industrialization. Through industrialization however, there was a disruption of the traditional values to setting and the architect. The beauty of the landscapes and the city view died out and there was a growth of continuous industrialization to cities. In my opinion, this is the time when I feel there is a loss to history in architecture and its value towards the history. I feel that people were so focused on moving forward with technology and mass production there is a loss to the cities that have such history.

  17. D’Ignazio’s art work fascinates me. Especially the installation called “It takes 154,000 breathes to evacuate Boston”. I, like D’Ignazio, am enthralled by maps. I love Google map, street view and earth. I literally study them- figuratively, endlessly. I can draw from my mind major roadways of my hometown, Leominster, and since freshman year, south Dartmouth and Westport. I have researched in detail the interstate highway system too. I love roads and that is why her “breathes” piece takes my breath away. I like how politically motivated her works are. How she describes fear in objects where politicians are describe them as installations for safety. She really can open the public eye to what may be happening unbeknownst to us. Her installation about the fence that intersects the American Indian territory was a great eye opener. I have always felt that our cultures preoccupation with illegal immigration is a great folly. We usurped the land from the natives. Texas, Arizona, New Mexico were all part of Mexico until the 19th century but they are returning to land that was their ancestors. However our politicians don’t phrase it that way.
    The Instruments of Memory was an interesting piece. I thought the history of historic perseveration was a particularly interesting point how it stemmed from a practice that was meant to legitimize the empires of Europe in the 17 and 1800’s. The only history America had during the time that preservation was en vogue was the colonial period. So our efforts were focused on preserving colonial buildings until urban renewal which by that time there were 200 years of history to preserve. I really did not like this reading as it was too heavily drenched in what I would call art history talk. It is the convoluted sentence structures and such at the beginning of this reading that really ruined my interest in the beginning of the article. I found that it became easier to understand, or maybe I found the subject more interesting as it progressed. Later on the essay focused on how cities balanced development and preservation and how to revitalize the city’s economy, culture and aesthetics; this is what I find fascinating.

  18. Ryan Gallagher
    Dolores Hayden, chapters 1-3. in The Power of Place.
    10-02-13

    Contested Terrain

    Something that struck me about this reading is discussing the fluctuation of populations and their use of the urban landscape. The urban landscape is determined by the combination of the overall economic wealth and the demographic of people within that area. This reading is discussing the shift between race in New York and the change of the overall landscape of the place. With eh fluctuation of wealth the settlement shift does the landscape still serve its overall purpose where some of the statues and public are that was created is not really for the overall public. Theses monuments were constructed for the white and the rich people who were changing the landscape with building buildings and so on. So the debate it do you preserve the past or move on. I think there should be some form of preservation but at the same time you need to make room for the relevancy of the times.

    Place Memory and Urban Preservation

    This reading is interesting based on the beginning talking about memory of past events in a generalized public scope. The overall populations of the people in the overall current culture have a fragmented understanding of the past. This memory is usually associated with “boring” facts and dates that have been memorized and have no contextualization within the mind to understand the historical event. This is where a multi-dimensional memory structure comes in the have a visual aspect. Much like how you keep photographs of important times in your life, which hold a memory better than just simply a text-based record. This only works for events that can be documented but in a world where we have cameras on every device we own will shape the way historical events are remembered and recorded.

    The Sense of Place and the Politics of Space

    The reading was interesting to begin to talk about place as a collective. Place is difficult to begin to understand based on the fact that categorizing place isn’t just geographical it is a collective based on all the senses. Taste, touch, sound, and smell all give a sense of place that all come together to give a bigger identity. This identity is created and used to help formulate memory where just a familiar smell can trigger a memory from a certain “place”. This article touches on that and I think it does a good job about the multi-dimensional aspects of this concept. I think it is important to talk about how each of our projects are effected by this multi-dimensionality when you incorporate things on that level it begins to take on a whole other level to add to the experience of the project.

  19. Ryan Gallagher
    In Conversation: Catherine D’Ignazio

    Catherine D’Ignazio’s work is very interesting to me based on the measurement of fear as a unit of measure. Thinking about fear as a tangible thing when it is quite amorphous being an emotion. How do you begin to measure it? There has definitely be a heavy emphasis on fear in the United States that we are in a state of a heightened state of “fear” because of the terrorist attack on NY City on September 11th. Talking about fear is interesting as a unit of measured really strikes me based on personal experiences I have had with fear. Fear is different for every sing person but it is also something that is universal based on an emotional standpoint. When Catherine started talking about the boarder issues that are happening and kind of the tone in which people are asked why they are moving too and from the country and Mexico and how the dialogue is usually started when crossing a boarder. This boarder is created to give way to what are boarders and the functionality of these boarders to shed light on them and to deconstruct a boarder and I think that this is important work.

  20. On Catherine D’Ignazio, aka kanarinka’s art projects–

    I love love love when conceptual art yields a beautiful final product, and kanarinka’s do just that in many cases. I enjoyed her work where she mapped “weather” or perspiration on the human body, as well as her general fascination with maps. It’s exciting to discover her work is so relevant to the USA today, fear, and questioning society in intriguing ways. She is clearly globally aware and trying to actively investigate/interpret/challenge her current environment. It’s alsointeresting to know that she is currently a MA resident. I would love to see some of her works or encounter her projects, and am slightly surprised I haven’t heard of her before now.

  21. – Dolores Hayden’s The Power of Place (chapters 1-3)
    – Catherine D’Ignazio

    I didn’t have a chance to watch the YouTube, “In Conversation: Catherine D’Ignazio” but the article from Art New England Online was wonderful. I really love the fact that Catherine adds another aspect to her work by including social and political issues and being proactive. She goes beyond, and begin to challenge the norm. She makes you reconsider issues in our society that one might of overlooked or not pay any mind to. I will definitely watch that YouTube video soon. Onto the second part, the three chapters of Dolores’s The Power of Place was really good, even though I skimmed through them. Something that really caught my attention was this quote, “Public space can help to nurture this more profound, subtle, and inclusive sense of what it means to be an American” and “The power of place–the power of ordinary urban landscapes to nurture citizen’s public memory, to encompass shared time in the form shared territory–remains untapped for most working people’s neighborhoods in most American cities, and for most ethnic history and most women’s history” (page 9).

  22. Catherine D’Ignazio,

    This artist focus a lot on global awareness and political issues. The map design and border discussion also relates to the discussion about fear. Fear is such a strong emotion. The only one bigger than fear is hope. I feel fear is the border because they cannot pass, and people are the hope to challenge society. But yet the border could be hope for peoples safety and people being the fear because we do not know who we will be bringing into our community. Discussing community her idea about bringing people together with food, music, and culture was fascinating. The project was called Sifting the inner belt. This is definitely something you can do in New Bedford similar to our projects. One of my favorite projects she did that I looked more into was the 12 Inches of weather. The series of drawings that mapped out 12 inches of weather on the human body by tracing perspiration, movement, and time. Can a body have weather too? Planets have weather. The weather affects us. I never really thought about it in deep thought. But just like the planet we get temperatures and have water that keeps us alive. Its so fascinating. This artist is from MA and she is super talented and interesting. Her concepts are inspiring and I would like t learn more about her.

  23. I think the work done by Catherine D’Ignazio is very inspiring. When I think of my own work and making things for galleries or for a general public to see I would like to cover controversial topics like Catherine D’Ignazio does through abstraction and getting other involved to interact. Her dictionary I think is one of my favorite works because it reminds me of this shower curton I was bought that had words and their definitions found commonly on the SAT’s and I think how odd it would be to do something similar that would make people ask what is going on.
    This reading has to be by far my most favorite reading for this class. I love hearing history as a story told by someone who lived through a time or experience. Facts and dates are only a fraction of the information that we can research and find. If one can research this far back to get the story from the people we can compile our on observations and who knows maybe find things other researchers never saw. Mann’s story is heart wrenching because its hard to watch those who are nearing retirement be layed off and let go because technology and its industry are ever changing. The sad reality of life is that those in charge don’t always think what’s the best to make the best product but rather what’s best to keep the company going with spending as little as possible. This train of though depicted in this chapter shows how men who enjoy their job lose the job they love when maybe they would of rathered the company just pay them less.

  24. The Archivist of Urban Waste: Zoe Leonard, Photographer as Rag-Picker
    Tom McDonough

    Zoe Leonard wanted to take photographs of urban services around her area and then eventually the globe. As she recently recalled: “I began this project in an attempt to understand by observing and recording the very humble everyday surroundings of my everyday life.” This series of images that grew into an archive also documented the changing of the working class and diverse district as it was being taken over by the capital. The transformation demonstrates the disappearing social. One of her photographs I looked at was from New York where she captured most of her first art pieces. One was a rack of clothing outside on the street in front of a shop I believe. The powerful bright white shirts hanging on the rack to me resembled hope, in between there were few different colors of blue and green shirts that seemed like the transformation of this city. It was progressing. This urban scene in a city street just captured my attention.

  25. Steven High and David Lewis
    Take only pictures and leave only footprints

    This chapter discusses the rusting of our industrial past in the ruins. The factories being wrecked, abandoned machinery left behind because its too much effort to be removed, and useless infrastructures left behind on the American landscape. It takes these photographs to recognize the phenomenon of its loss and rediscovery. It discusses how urban explorers travel back in time when revisiting these ruins. Getting the youth involved.

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