At the end of 2015 this blog will be inactive. This blog was utilized to post my experiences, preliminary research and the process of my interdisciplinary practice. The four year content of this blog, from 2011-15, concentrates on forming my Internet-based collection project. The postings pertaining to research or involvement with individuals/ institutions with aspects of the collections do not intend to be disrespectful of the history or present public institution/ museum practices.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Fieldwork: Passive Observation and The Map Plotting Process
suburban environment corresponds with the characteristics of print media as an
object of communication. My sightings of the print media flyers have been in
various suburban locations along major roadways in Newark, Delaware USA. The
Newark roadways do have sidewalks for foot and bike travel, but the area is
more motor vehicle oriented. The suburban environment is significant toward my
introduction of the type of fieldwork I implemented for the collecting process
of the Recently Seen in Area Collection. This second blog post for the Recently Seen in Area Collection depicts my fieldwork in a public suburban
environment and using material culture methods in a collecting process.
a two-year time period, I have passively observed the locations of the flyers,
while being idle in my car at traffic lights. From this perspective, I observed
the modification of four different styles of print media flyers and the
alterations of them from the elements in the public realm. In addition, my view
from my car influenced this short-term project to examine the flyers from an
object perspective instead of the personal story of a person’s missing dog
communicated from the flyers.
Sample: 2012 Print Media
very first observations were the predominately red and yellow flyers with the
inset image of a close-up of the lost dog’s face. Within the first year, there
was a sparse posting of blue and yellow flyers. The 2014 harsh winter elements
removed or faded the majority of the original style flyers. This spring is
approximately the second year of seeing the print media flyer and a new yellow,
black, and red flyer posted along the roadways. My sighting of this newest
version of the flyer began the plotting of the locations.
the first two weeks of the collecting process, I began written field notes and
expanded my observations by driving through the greater suburban areas of
Newark. These written field notes were referenced and added to, as needed,
during the entire 2 months of plotting of the locations of the flyers. My car
was a means for travel, which enabled me to plot the locations of the print
media flyers. In addition, the car is part of a broader concept of how the
suburban environment is observed from the roadways.
driving or riding in a car presents limited ability for a person to be
physically interactive with the suburban environment, this arrangement connects
with the main use of the human sense of sight acquainted with print media
culture. Print culture is a passive or high information content mode of
communication, which corresponds
with the traffic flow on intersections of roadway. The use of the design
elements of bold colors and block type for the print media flyers heighten the
visual awareness, especially being posted on metal poles and metal traffic
signal controller boxes.
from my car was one of the methods in my fieldwork for the collecting process of
the Recently Seen in Area Collection. Myweekly travels
to the locations kept my notes current. This method contributed plotting the
flyer locations in a timely process for the initial stages of the project,
while scouting for parking locations to begin my video studies.
Sample from written field notes June 2014
 Nick Stevenson, Understanding
Media Cultures (London, Sage Publications, 1995), 117 - 120