1. Name- Natasha Mehra Date â€“ 29th November 2010 Course Name â€“ PSHM Project Tile - Maptivism
2. Course description Taking the concept of citizenship and the right to information and placing it in the framework of technology to create a sense of awareness or understanding. Looking at this our project looked at the RTI just as a concept and worked with the spirit of the act instead i.e. The right to go out and collect information of any kind and put it out for other to see, and decided to use mapping as a technique for representation of the data collected. 3.
Statement of intent We were working with the idea of collecting subjective information to highlight the fact that we as citizens or individuals as a part of a community have the right to extract already existing information and put it out for others to refer to through the meaning of subjective mapping. I personally was drawn to the fact that project started with us as individuals going out and taking over the responsibility to collect information rather than expecting it out of others and hence creating an example for others to follow.
4. We originally started with the idea of looking at how people define spaces and vice-versa and hence using geography as the base for analysing and mapping information collected but over time we realised that since the information we collect is subjective in nature geography should not considered as a base layer and hence decided on putting the individual in the centre and assuming layers that stemmed out the associations people make People and memories People and ideologies People and locality People and themselves
Keeping these layers in mind we decided on the appropriate mediums needed to represent them Using sound memories in the form of a soundscape, 3-d installation to map out the responses we got from people on the question ‘what is a well informed person?’ that reflected their ideologies, visible tweets using twitter to depict their relationship with their locality through the question’ what would you like to remove from your city?’ and finally seeing how people look at themselves by asking them to complete sentence ‘I am …..’.
5. Before we carried out our interventions we somehow did not lay much importance on the framing of our questions, we went out with the assumption that we would get certain responses and with that we could start mapping .But along the way we realised we needed a stronger framework for establishing our question and hence to get a more structured response we needed to lay more emphasis on structuring our questions as well.
6. Through this entire process I realised that I take time to fully indulge myself in a project and not because I am disinterested but because it takes time for me to grasp the entire outcome of it. I felt things were going slow in the beginning but once I started to make the connections things became a lot clearer for me to act upon and respond to.
7. Doing it all over again I would definitely lay more importance on the framing of the questions because I think we were in such a hurry to come up with an outcome that we forgot about the process that led to it. Even though we did go back and reframe our questions we lost a lot of time in between which could have been put in the final execution
8. Since we were dealing with interventions and ways of carrying them out, the approach used by HIT to start a conversation amongst people is what interested me the most. Shouting and getting people’s attention is easy but it is how they decided to shout that was most intriguing. Starting these debates for people to complete was something that I felt could have fit into our project as well and an interesting way to collect information without directly interacting with the audience itself.
Set 1 1. The question complete sentence ‘I am….’ And ‘which eminent personality would you take moral advice from?’ as a part of the interventions were asked to reflect how we look at ourselves and others around us and in that sense analyse the relationship between people and themselves.
2. The basis of our entire project stood on the fact that public spaces can be used to extract any kind of information from and in turn be used to put out that information for others to extract from as well and hence act as learning spaces in a broader sense. 3. Since we felt that people define the space that they occupy and in turn are defined by it in the process we tried to go beyond the perception of a public space as space for interaction rather as a forum to collect or extract information of any kind analyse it and put it out for others to make their own interpretations. 4. Our project challenged the idea information and the way it is treated by creating a situation for people to realise that information is out there to be collected and it is for us to go out and extract it and put it out for others to refer to it as well. 5. The idea of using associations as a base layer to represent the information collected could be looked at as a stimulant to generate alternative viewpoints because here one could interpret not only one’s own response but of other in relation oneself.
Set 2 1. Relating our project to the Warner text it talks about taking into consideration participation as being the determining factor in defining a public that can be of varying levels we can consider the giving away of information by the public as an act of participation on their part. After this initial participatory act we assume the receiving of this information through concrete form would in turn create a sense of awareness of not just one’s own but the opinions of other’s around you and hence create a sense of commonality and unite the public being addressed. Also the question of are we a subsection or a counter public? How does that affect our approach because our role as designers is not independent from our role as citizens. So, in that sense, we are as much ‘the public’ as the public we hope to interact with. Our assumptions and our opinions are likely to be synonymous to, or as valid a contribution as the opinions of those that we seem to need to target as ‘the public’.
2. Our piece looked at sound memories that people related to their past. Somehow the response that we got from this exercise was very superficial which led us to think of the fact that people when put in a situation where they are to answer questions that are subjective in nature tend to trivialise the data because the only response we got from the exercise was birds and traffic hence our sound piece revolved around this aspect of how when everyone says the same thing it means something. But later when we carried out the exercise again in another locality we got the responses we were looking at when we first did this, people came up with the most interesting stories related to their past which made us take into consideration the fact that the space in which one is reflects in one’s opinions and hence we decided on making a piece using these varying responses with the sound of birds and traffic and various intervals.
3. A) using the concept of hacking we tried a crowd sourcing technique to collect data and display it using flickr and twitter by using the tag#pshm, therefore every time anyone tweeted using this tag their comments would pop up on a site displaying the various images and responses to the questions What would you remove from your city? Which eminent personality would you like to take moral advice from? While doing this intervention at KIC we noticed how people got excited looking at their picture popup on the site and hence motivated others around them to do it too. B) The article by ash amin talks about the importance of public spaces as spaces for political and cultural debate. Taking inspiration from this we decided to look at public spaces as not only spaces for interaction but places of political significance that shapes individuals to form ideologies and is in turn defined by them in the process. c) Looking at our installation as a site we could say it reflects on the understanding of relationships between and individual and other elements that stem from a public space. d) The text by Goetz and Jenkins takes about proactive citizenship and using this right given to us by the government to question the government. Relating this to our project we have tried to incorporate this idea of proactive citizenship in a broader sense by removing the right given by the constitution and focusing on this inherent right to extract information as an individual that is apart of a community and to be able to put it out for other refer to as well.
Reflecting on the entire course I feel it has made me think about things from a different perspective and understand them at a deeper level. Group discussions on readings and concepts that were given to us to analyse also gave me a better understanding on how others perceive them and in a great way changed my outlook towards them in the process.