Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Willow Grove Cemetery Manifesto

When I saw the list of locations for this project, the cemetery really stuck out to me. I thought it would be a great place to do this project since a cemetery in itself incorporates so many of the themes we have discussed in class. the most important being the fact that it is a heterotopia. after more research, we discovered that the cemetery is divided into three parts, three different cemeteries, creating more heterotopias. so there are three separate places inside another place.
another thing i find interesting about this place is that it's not an ordinary cemetery. when i visited, it was not peaceful and serene like you would picture a cemetery, but it was extremely noisy and so many things were happening around it. originally, willow grove cemetery was built in the center of the city, like most cemeteries used to be built, but because of urbanization and housing, there are buildings basically built on top of it. there are so many houses along the cemetery that don't really have a backyard, instead they have a cemetery. the noise that came from these houses and buildings were interesting. a few of the things you would hear are dogs barking, cars passing by, a neighbor blasting his radio, and ice cream truck... and then there's just noises that you would regularly hear in nature. it's strange that the cemetery is supposed to be its own separate space, but you hear all these noises that don't belong, noises from another place. i feel that any cemetery is supposed to be a private space which is detached from the regular, normal atmosphere of the busy city. instead, this cemetery is connected and is a part of the city and a part of the people. obviously, the neighbors are used to having a cemetery in their backyard, it seems like a cemetery means nothing to them and would not bring about any emotion to them. but for those who do not have to look outside their windows and see a cemetery everyday, it is something that is special to them in a way, or sacred even. in this way, this cemetery is very much connected to the people of new brunswick, and the city itself.
the reading, a different city for a different life, is like our project in how it deals with how urbanization has decayed what is supposed to be sacred and kind of beautiful- the cemetery. it's interesting in how the reading talks about play and that there's not enough of it. because towards the back left of the willow grove cemetery there is a "playground" right behind it. this is a really bad excuse for a playground as it is just a slide with some bars. and it's also looking over the cemetery, which is nice for the children i guess.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

cat camera

i just saw stephanie's project attempting to follow her dog and it remembered this thing i saw in people magazine about a cat camera. this couple attached a camera that would take a picture every two minutes to their cat's collar and were able to see their cat's every moment and where it went everyday. they even found out that their cat had other cat friends in the neighborhood. i thought this was really interesting because stephanie tried to see what her dog did on a daily basis but since the dog knew that she was being followed, she did not go about her daily life. the cat camera would have worked for this because the pet would not know or think that they are being followed.
i couldn't find the article i read, but this is the same couple's flickr with the pictures from their cat's daily life.
oh and i just found cooper's (the cat) blog :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the following project

the idea of following someone first excited me for some reason, i really don't know why, but when it came to actually following through with it, i became really nervous and i couldn't do it. i tried a few people at first until i realized that once i lost them, i would not be able to find them again since they are complete strangers. so after considering my options of people to follow, i chose a guy in my dorm. he isn't particularly random- i chose him because i think he's really weird and creepy. he always tries to talk to me(but in a weird way) so i decided that i would be creepy to someone who is creepy to me. i first saw him in the hallway of my dorm and that's when i began following. before this, i didn't know if he lived in my building or not, since i see him about once every two weeks, i just thought he was a friend of someone who lived here. but it turns out, he does. anyway, i followed him to the student center where he went in and met up with a friend. he still had no idea he was being followed, but i wasn't making it obvious since a lot of people were going on the same path. this guy literally stayed there for like an hour and a half, but luckily, i had a friend join me so i wouldn't look like a weirdo sitting by herself watching some guy. finally, him and his friend leave for the bus stop, but he continues walking towards the busch suites. at this point, it's dark out and really cold. he was walking really fast since it was raining even though he had an umbrella. i did not. i tried to keep up with him without being obvious but it was hard cause a girl was walking in front of me and kept turning around when i was trying to get pictures. i picked up my pace and caught up with him. he went into a building and i tried to catch the door before it locked but i was too late.
following him was much easier to do when he was walking to the suites since it was dark. another plus was that it was cold and raining so he was rushing and not really paying attention to whether or not he was being followed. either way, he was pretty clueless so i doubt he would have known.
while he was walking and i was following, he suddenly started singing! it was the weirdest thing cause he wasn't even trying to hide it. i tried to record it but he was too far away so the microphone on my camera couldn't get it :/ it was pretty funny though, a man with a green umbrella, singing in the rain.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Google Map

This is my map of the important places I've been to in my life:


Most if not all of these places bring back memories and emotions that I will probably never forget unless I lose my memory or something.
Actually, just by making my map and pinpointing some of these places, I remembered some of the things I experienced while I was at whichever place.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

pictures of heterotopic spaces.

i added these pictures to my flickr, but i guess i'll add them here too.
there are two of a tree, enclosed within a space.. that doesn't seem weird when i walk past it every other day, but now that i think about it, it's pretty strange. i also have a picture of the library and mirrors.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Questions And Answers About Readings

1) Why are we so dominated/controlled by technology?
2) Under 'Boundaries', when he is talking about his skin and layers, why does he speak about space by containing everything within something else?
3) He speaks about many places that have boundaries, basically saying that there are no places you can go without a boundary. Is there any place you could go where you aren't confined by a boundary?
4) Why do we feel the need to have control over network flows and crossing points, using doors, windows, gates etc.?
5) He says his sense of continuity and belonging derives from being electronically networked to other people.. is this true for everyone or are there other ways of staying connected with others?

Space and Place
1) In what ways would a big city resemble or remind a person of the seashore?
2) Tuan says, "Culture is uniquely developed in human beings. It strongly influences human behavior and values." Is this true? If so, what are some examples of how culture is developed in us?
3) Is experience really as important as Tuan suggests it is?
4) Tuan says, "Odors lend characters to objects and places, making them distinctive, easier to identify and remember." In what ways do your senses (any of your senses) help you remember places and bring back memories?
5) Is spatial ability something that has to be acquired?

Of Other Spaces
1) What makes a space 'heterotopic'?
2) Does an "infinitely open space" actually exist? If so, where?
3) What are the differences between a utopia and a heterotopia?
4) What are the different forms of heterotopias Foucault talks about?
5) What are the different functions of heterotopias and what are their purposes?

Answers to Questions

Mindy's Question from C++: What is an example of a network that confines someone, like jail?

My example would be something like Expos class. In this class, students don't choose what they get to write about, so there's not much freedom with that. For me, expos class felt like jail because I didn't have any say in what I could write about. The class and writing papers took up a lot of my time, making me feel like I had even less freedom.
Melanie's Question from Space and Place: How do non-human animals have a sense of territory and of a place?
Animals, like dogs for example, are very territorial. Most dogs do not like when their owners get a new dog and "protect" their space. They are also very possessive of their belongings, and protective of their owners and the house they live in. I think this is because they feel like their home is their space, and they don't like when outsiders try to come in.
Mary's Question from Of Other Spaces: What would happen if there were no longer museums? Would we still have such a sense of place before our time?
If there were no longer museums, I feel like people would not know much about history other than what they read about. By having museums, people can actually see and experience life before our time. So I think there would be less of a sense of place since museums let give people a chance to experience it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What I Carry With Me

I have a lot of garbage.
I carry my bag with me almost everywhere, so a lot of random things start to accumulate in there, much of which is garbage. The garbage usually consists of gum wrappers, old receipts, receipts from atm's, and a bunch of random stuff that I throw in there if there's no trash can around. Recently, I've been carrying around more like pens, matches, midols, and lip balm. But the most important things I put in there are my keys, wallet, and cellphone. Everything around it is just stuffing.