Thursday, January 17, 2013

Community Response to the Digital Divide

       The topic of discussion in part four of the Philadelphia Innovators series was Open Data Philly & Bridging the Digital Divide, which was presented on an hour radio program, Radio Times. Some of the program’s topics were about residents having open access to data about their community area and the city’s governing tactics. These topics also acknowledged that digital technology has altered the processing of information for social needs and included Philadelphia’s community resource efforts to bridge the digital divide.
            Keyspots Powered by the Freedom Rings Partnership offers web access and training in computer classes. As of November 2012 there are 76 Keyspots across Philadelphia.[1] The Radio Times program acknowledges that 41% to 50% of Philadelphia citizens do not have internet access.
            The structure of the Philadelphia Keyspots program is organized differently than the Google Fibers program offered in Kansas City, Missouri, which I refer to in my Oct. 30, 2012 blog National Print Media Transition. Both programs are responding to the need for internet access by lower income residents of the community. The programs acknowledge the relevance of communicating to the citizens the changes digital technology has had on processing of information in social programs and everyday acts, such as filling out a job application.
            The Radio Times program provided insightful information about the type of digital objects that are in use and what kind of data can be processed with them. The digital objects that were presented are the Smartphone and the “In Home” computer or Laptop computer. The Smartphone connects to the internet, but has limits of processing certain data. Some of those limits can include job applications and submission of forms for social programs. These tend to require a traditional computer experience of sitting in front of a desktop or laptop computer. This discussion included the resident’s social economic background as it relates to who owns which types of digital objects. Currently, a larger portion of the city (Philadelphia) population reflects ownership of Smartphones, even among lower income citizens.
            These concepts about how the public is accessing the internet will be considered in the development of presentation and public access to my collection project. Visit whyy.org to listen to the Open Data Philly & Bridging the Digital Divide. 


[1] https://www.phillykeyspots.org/about-us (Accessed: Jan. 17, 2013)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Investigating a New Theme





Recently, I have been reviewing my “fieldwork” materials. The written descriptions, drawings, blog entries, and still photos are an archive of the ethnography process used to form the collection. It is a mix of materials that are of paper form and digital files. I am inquiring these materials to develop a new theme for the collection. I am taking into consideration the type of objects, the obtainability of certain objects, the human interaction, and the senses to avoid redundancy within the collection.  

Desk area with "fieldwork" materials. January 2013
 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Role of the Drawing Process in “fieldwork”

 
            The Screwdriver Collection consists of the most site-specific documentary video clips within the “Collections” project. The fieldwork notes from these site-specific environments contain written documentation of the experiences from the social interaction of people and objects along with drawings of the environment. The drawing process visually investigates the spatial perspective of the environment.
Gutter and Suburban House Observation from Newark, Delaware
            I began using drawing with the Can Opener Collection. In reference to my May 31, 2012 Site-Specific Documentation blog post, I describe the preliminary sketch of the placement of the luncheonette owner, the industrial can opener, and the temporary white background. The drawing was utilized as a form of visual communication of how the white background would block out the luncheonette environment. This enabled a consistency with the collection’s focus upon the interaction between person and object. In this particular circumstance I had more control of the space to block out the environment.
            The interactions become more of a challenge to control with much larger objects or when an object’s function is dependant on another larger permanent object. For example, the Cleaning Out The Gutter clip in the November 2012 recent additions of the ScrewdriverCollection, the gutter is attached to the larger object, a suburban house.  The roof area of the house and the gutter are placed together to deter rainwater from the house. Since these objects function together, I needed to consider them in the frame for filming the staged portion of cleaning out the gutter.                
Shed Door of Suburban House Observation from Newark, Delaware
            As an artist, I use the drawing process to interpret my experiences and investigate the space as a whole. While I am sketching the current environment, for example, I reflect on my memories of past experiences cleaning out the gutters. I use my fine art training with perspective as a basic guide to begin sketching a spatial representation of the environment. The act of creating a visual representation of the area is an observational method I use to become familiar with the spacing of the objects.
            The three drawings presented with this blog post are examples of some of the sketches made during the ethnography process for the Screwdriver Collection. In the fine art perspective the drawings have a subjective interpretation, instead of an objective or linear perspective. The use of this style of drawing in my interdisciplinary studio practice offers another form of research for visual documentation and ethnography that forms my “Collections” project. 
Removing Chaulk from Bathtub Area Observation/ Placement Layout