curious, not creepy.

sounding out the city.
May 31, 2009, 5:09 am
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as i write this now, i am listening to music. i constantly have it playing while i’m at home. it is usually the first thing i do when i wake up in the morning and the last thing i do before falling asleep. since i live alone, it seems to make me feel as though i’m not all by myself. it helps create a comfortable environment for me, and knowing that i can take that comfort with me anywhere is great. just like the other people in michael bull’s book, sounding out the city, i used my iPod as a means of hiding while in public and creating a space of security while traveling through the city. 

however, this time around what i found most interesting about the book is his discussion of consumer technologies becoming apart of our everyday life. immediately it made me think about the evolution that can be seen from the birth of the walkman. after the walkman came portable cd players and then mp3 players. and in the mist of all this change in how we are able to listen to music we have the creation of the cell phone and the birth of the internet. now we have iPhones and blackberries that double not only as just a cell phone but also a music player that allows us full access to the internet at all times. 

Using a personal stereo appears to constitute a form of company for her whilst she is alone, through its creation of a zone of intimacy and immediacy. 

through these progressions in technology, we have become able to create our own worlds that we can carry around with us anywhere and everywhere. not only does our music allow us to block out the rest of the world, but now with social networking programs like myspace and facebook and now twitter you have total control of who you allow into your world. you no longer need to actually say anything to have a conversation, you can arrive to your destination without ever having said a single word and spoken to half a dozen people.

headphones are a social signal that the person who is wearing them is not interested in conversation. and now seeing someone fiddling with their phone also gives this same idea. 

Along with her personal stereo she now has a mobile phone which she also claims not to be able to be without. The arsenal of mobile technology becomes her ‘lifeline’ whilst traversing those empty but potentially fearful public spaces.

with these advancements in technology, we are now more connected to each other then every before. but at the same time, we have created these cocoons that enables us to maintain physical relationships. we are able to to go months without physically seeing a person and know what is happening in their life thanks to facebook. which doesn’t seem like a good direction to be moving in to me.


imaging place.
May 28, 2009, 4:36 am
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the presentation on imaging place is fascinating, it takes the idea of creating a map and pushes it to a much more personal and intimate level. it allows real people to be apart of the process by telling their stories and perspectives and creating a real understanding of the area. because what makes a community a community isn’t the streets and sidewalks, but the people that reside in it. maps are meant to be a means of getting around in the world, so why not have the people who are in that part of the world be the ones describing it to you?

i like that they are using the new technologies we have acquired to construct these new kinds of maps. it makes it very accessible to viewers. if they can use the google maps street view feature, they’ll be able to use these maps as they appear to be very similar. also, by having these videos it also gives a stronger sense of actually being there. as though you are with the person walking through these streets, seeing what they see rather then just looking at a flat 2D image. you have the ability to have a full 360 view of the area around you giving you a greater understanding of the place.  

towards the end of the presentation, there was a part that talked about what maps have become in todays society.  that it is not necessarily a thing that gives us directions, but one that orientants us to the world around us. and i think that this kind of new cartography is really pushing this idea. some of us will never be able to visit the cities that many of these videos come from so this allows a way to get insight into the peoples that reside there, the sights they see and the sounds they hear. it helps bring together people across the globe by getting to take a glance into their lives.

project one – googly eyes.
May 24, 2009, 11:05 pm
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for this weeks project, i’ve decided to do an ephemeral piece that expands upon the ideas from my first walk in which i searched for faces in places.   instead of just trying to find these faces, i took a more proactive role and created them.  the use of googly eyes helps really define the face, and also adds a very playful element to the piece which is was a goal of mine.  i want them to be a nice surprise to be found by other walkers, and hopefully be a reminder of our childhood and how easy it was to enjoy these simple joys.

googly gutter.

googly trash.

googly metal.

googly wood.

googly lid.

googly sidewalk.

googly bricks.

googly fence.

googly cactus.

walk two – desire lines.
May 22, 2009, 9:32 pm
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just like last summer, i had a really hard time trying to find desire lines. i didn’t want to re-use the same ones that i found last year so it took a lot of looking for me to do so. and i found one in the funniest place. 

i’m doing an internship at the phoenix art museum, working primarily in tucson and going up once a week. when i was there i was trying to find my way back into the building and stumbled across a little desire line that lead me in the correct direction.

phx desire line.

i began thinking a lot about why it is i have such a hard time finding these little footpaths and i realized its because people don’t really walk anymore. everyone is in their cars all the time, people riding bikes to places, but its just not that often you see someone walking somewhere with a real purpose like running errands. with that in mind, i started to see a new kind of desire line everywhere.

new desire lines

new desire lines

i think that these can be seen as a new kind desire line.

this american life.
May 21, 2009, 8:31 am
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oh, ira glass. i could listen to your voice forever. i’ve listened to the mapping episode of this american life a few times and each time it is different. it’s interesting how certain things can change meaning depending on when it is they find you again in life.  

this time around, i really enjoyed listening to ira talk about what maps are. essentially they are one person obsessively paying attention to one specific thing and ignoring everything else around them. this can be seen with ralph, the new york city worker who has to check the status of every sidewalk in the whole city. which seems incredibly tedious. but eventually becomes second nature to him. and then there is my favorite person in this episode, denis wood, who creates maps of his neighborhood.  


what i found to be the most interesting part of the episode was during his interview, when he says that he is trying to write a novel but only by using symbols. which got me thinking, isn’t that what all artists are trying to do? we could just write, but instead we use visual and performance elements to explain our ideas. though the above image just looks like a cluster of jack-o-lantern’s they have much more meaning then that. dennis goes on to explain that the pumpkins are more then what appears to just be an aesthetic look at his neighborhood, but more a socio-economic study.  

with these pumpkins, he did a study comparing the people who were more active in the neighborhood association and those who were not.  the pumpkins can be seen as signifiers of those who were more respected in the community as the people who are more renown had more pumpkins on their porch then their neighbors who were not involved, and also happened to live in the less wealthy portions of the neighborhood. 

its interesting to think that something as seemingly as simple as a carved pumpkin can say so much about the standing of an individual within their own neighborhood. but it certainly does make sense. it made me think back to the neighborhood in which i grew up, we didn’t have any kind of neighborhood association and we only knew three or four of our neighbors. during halloween, we’d never actually trick-or-treat around my house because there were never any pumpkins out, aside from the people we already knew. 

ironically, once i moved out i actually ended up in areas of town that have neighborhood associations which are very active within their community. even though i don’t attend the meetings or vote for new presidents of the association or anything, it’s nice to know that its around and that more jack-o-lanterns can be found throughout iron horse because of them.

walk one – smell and sound
May 21, 2009, 4:32 am
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there is this smell that infiltrates tucson every summer and is one of my absolute favorite things about living here. that wet dirt smell, that is definitely the smell of summertime. 

and there are these sounds that fill the air – the train blowing its horn, the hum of swamp coolers and the voices of people chatting on their porch.


summer sky.

i went on a walk this evening and it was a culmination of these two things which are just apart of experiencing tucson in the summer. its much quieter out at night with most of the ua kids gone back home until august. which is nice. and it is much cooler, with the looming rain that changes the color of the sky to that beautiful redish pink. i guess more then anything, my walk tonight made me appreciate this town. i know i spend a lot of my time complaining about it and wanting to leave it, but it really is a great place. and it was also really nice to just take my time and enjoy the weather and the smells and the sounds instead of being in a big rush from one place to another. it’s been a long time since i just went on a walk with no destination in mind.

walk one – sight
May 21, 2009, 4:16 am
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recently, a friend showed me a blog that really caught my attention. and sparked my idea for my first walk of the class. i remember doing this a lot when i was little, in fact one of my favorite memories is driving from tucson to hermosillo with my mother and looking out the window at the mountain ranges and clouds. i’d try to make the mountain silhouettes and clouds into people or faces or animals or anything really. my mom would play along sometimes, but mostly just agree with my decision that the part we just drove by looked like an old man laying down for a nap. and it totally was.

it seemed much harder to try and find these faces today. maybe it was because i was trying really hard to find them, or maybe its just not as easy when you’re not a kid. who knows.

chomping on spaghetti

you have something on your nose, sir.

lemon in your eye.


floppy ears.

old man.