Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The statement we are trying to make with our project pertains to many of the difficulties faced by those in our neighborhood when engaging in simple activities such as shopping for groceries. Many of the members of the community in New Brunswick are at a lower financial standing and are minorities. Many also speak other languages, primarily Spanish. These community members often encounter language barriers, because they have emigrated here from Spanish speaking countries or other countries where English is not the primarily language spoken. Our project is highlighting some of the main dilemmas that the people of the neighborhood have to deal with daily. The main idea behind the project is to help us; the students understand what the people in our neighborhood have to go through every day. We are trying to highlight the difficulties of communication that arise from the language barrier. By doing so, we can try to comprehend how hard it is for native Spanish speakers to get there point across in an all English-speaking American neighborhood.
We choose C-town supermarket because of the location and because of the diversity of the costumers. C-town supermarket is located across the street from Rutgers off-campus housing building, Rockoff and across the street from the New Jersey Health Center. C-town also marks the end of the Rutgers campus and the beginning of the neighborhood of New Brunswick. Because of the location, C-town draws in a vast diverse costumer body, including all from, Rutgers students, the employees from various companies, and members of the ethnically diverse neighborhood of New Brunswick. Many of these people come to C-town for various reasons, students may stop by due to there low budget or lack of other transportation, neighborhood members may come to C-town because this is the only supermarket in the walking distance, and the employees may enjoy the convenience and low cost lunches of C-town. Either way C-town highlights the different faces present in New Brunswick.
Our project asks the students to break up into groups and each group receives a type of person that the group will represent. Each group also receives a map of inside of C-town to help guide the chosen student to navigate within C-town. Within the allotted time frame the students that are chosen to enter C-town must remain on the phone with groups members while they direct them to find the items on their shopping list. The trick is that the text is written in Spanish. During this time the students are asked to blog their experiences through mobile applications and also remain on the phone with those outside. This will hopefully evoke some of the same emotions as those who struggle with the English language and must learn to overcome that in order to get essential items such as food.
Within the project, many of the concepts from the readings are brought to the surface. Beginning with “Site Specifics” which discusses that site -specific works can only be done at that site, other wise it is no longer the same piece of art. This project can only be done at C-Town, because if in any other supermarket then it loses its value and can no longer evoke the emotions of the neighborhood. Within “A Different City for a Different Life” translated by John Shepley we can see how urbanism has taken place in New Brunswick especially with the construction of Rutgers university. Rutgers was constructed precisely in the middle of New Brunswick, which has taken away from the integrity of the neighborhood as its own entity. Now is seems to be the neighborhood between Rutgers University and the Johnson & Johnson estate. These two articles pertain mainly to the importance of the environment and the neighborhoods surrounding the art.
These following articles pertain to the maps that our project is utilizing as an essential part of the project. “Mapping the Homunculus” discusses us in relation to the rest of the spaces in the world. Mapping is the oldest form of trying to comprehend the spaces around the world. Mapping C-town supermarket using homunculus mapping is mapping with humans as the sensory index. This will heighten the experience for those who are communicating with the student inside of the supermarket because they will be about to mark where the student is at that time. “Counter Cartographies” highlights the aesthetics behind cognitive mapping. Jameson, the author retells what he observed, “ the correlation of abstract knowledge and imaginary figures as key to understanding contemporary symbolic structures and regaining the capacity to act within them.” This exemplifies the main goal of the use of mapping within our C-town project. The abstract knowledge being those who are guiding the person with in C-town, which in turn helps those outside to understand the structure within. The following article truly highlights many of the main points we are trying to convey with the mapping, the article entitled, “Locative Arts” by Drew Hemment. Locative art is located between the art of communication and networking and the art of landscape walking and environment. It highly utilizes mapping and geo-annotation, which involves authoring media in an environment and accessing it at the same location. Our C-town projects ties in directly with geo-annotation because we are asking students to find the index cards that are at a certain place and communicate through mobile blog and through the cell phone about their experiences.
In “Critical Vehicles” by Krzysztof Wodiczko under the subsection entitled, immigrant utopia, Wodiczko discusses what it is like for immigrants to transform into the land of large buildings . “The city is reconceived with each new immigrant, assuming that an open communication exists between the immigrant and all others.” ( Wodiczko). This statement accents some of the issue within the neighborhood of New Brunswick because there is such a divergence of the members of the neighborhood and the students traveling through the community. One would think that there would be a relationship between the people that live within the same neighborhood but instead two parallel universes exist. Concepts of the Yi-Fu Tuan article, “Space and Place,” also help to highlight this divide. The place where C-town is located holds a space for the neighborhoods and its members to combine and cross paths.
Our C-town project is to make aware the different types of people that are living within the neighborhood, that we as the student body travel through on a daily basis. We as students cannot forget that there is life beyond Rutgers University and our C-town project is trying to bring forth the narratives of the people that we may encounter everyday. Possibly people that we do not care to interact with may have a fascinating story that may never be heard. We should become more aware of the issues that are occurring in our backyards, the neighborhood of New Brunswick. With this project we hope to make the narratives of four made-up characters come to life and allow the students to put their feet in some one else’s shoes.