Sunday, April 22, 2007

Neighborhood Narratives A Better Understanding

This photgraph I've made represents much of what i've learned thus far. The triangle is my homunculus. It's my world. A journey from home, to school, to work, and back again. The fountain in the center is from the "Body, Memory, and Community" reading. It's a tribute to my community. I'm a member of a family. They are the most important thing to me. The circuit board represents the technologies which are an extension of my body. They help me but also control and keep watch over me. The little girl gives the piece a human aspect. All of this sits on top of a map of Philadelphia a place in which i've become quite familar with throughout the semester.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Korean War Tribute

On Tuesday the 3rd of April. I journeyed to Penn's Landing and parked my car in front of the Korean War Memorial. I wanted to honor the brave men who were either killed or missing in action. I walked some blocks to South Street and purchased 4 long stemmed roses. When I returned I studied the memorial pillars and placed 2 roses at the base of the pillar which would have carried the name of my Grandfather had he never returned from battle. The monument made me realize how lucky I was to be in college. Many men my age are dying or returning without limbs. The war in Iraq is a tragedy. I watched an old man scan the memorial. He seemed to be glad to see someone my age paying tribute. I'm definitely very grateful for the sacrifices that the soldiers who fought in Korea made so that I can enjoy the simple freedoms that are often taken for granted. Before leaving I traced a few names off of a pillar with paper and pencil. I wanted to take something with me to remember my experience so that I wouldn't soon forget.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I'll Be Watching You

The assignment was to follow an unsuspecting citizen. I must admit the sheer thought of invading someones private space in such a way caused me to feel anxious. I wasn't comfortable with the idea of it. It made me feel as though I was a creep or a stalker. Me and Nikki met at around noon on Tuesday. We started out infront of City Hall. I wanted to walk underneath of the building so I chose to follow the first person headed in that direction. Nikki followed behind me and took pictures of my adventure. The man must have been in his late 40s. He wore a grey suit and had a long stride. It was diffucult to keep up with the man and I soon lost him. I decided to go with the flow and set my sites on another middle aged man. This man was not as lanky as the first. He had an average pace and wore a brown cap which was easy to spot. I stood side by side with the man on several occasions. When stopped on a corner I suddenly became worried. He glanced in my direction and it appeared for a moment that my cover was blown. The man led me past a Hard Rock Cafe and into The Reading Terminal Market. Once inside the man immediately grabbed a basket and began to shop for vegetables. I decided to hang back for a while making sure to keep from his line of sight. After several minutes of pussy footing around I decided to try and get as close as possible. I made two passes by the man and on the second he seemed to look be right in the eyes.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I Went Wandering Part Deux

These are pictures of a walk I took down and around South Street, located in the great city of Philadelphia. Notice how my direction was pointless. I tried my best to clear my mind and to really take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the city. As you can see I had to be careful where I stepped because remnants of last weeks snowfall was all over the place. It made the sidewalks quite slippery. I really love the old historic buildings that line the streets near South Street. It makes me wonder what Philadelphia must have been like a hundred years ago. Once I reached South Street itself I made sure to take pictures of some of the fabulous window displays. There was a neat wooden Indian in front of a cigar shop and a suit of armor in front of another store. I noticed that the Ataris were going to be playing at the Theatre of Living Arts. There was also a banner advertising a Muay Tai Kick Boxing competition. There were a ton of police officers lining the street that day because it was Fat Tuesday. A few years earlier the crowd had gotten out of hand during the holiday and several stores were looted. The smells of South Street can make ones mouth water. As I ventured down the street I hungered for cheese steaks and pizza. It was surprisingly warm during my journey and I found myself becoming excited for the upcoming Spring and Summer months. At the end of South Street there is a grand cat walk with a fantastic view of Penn's Landing and the ships in its Navy yard. This made me think of a documentary I saw on Philadelphia which explained that the Philadelphia waterfront was an ideal place to dock the ships because the freshwater was better for the ships than salt water. I have been told that in the past the Philadelphia shipping yard was once a booming enterprise which employed many hardworking people. While on the bridge I hear the sounds of speeding traffic coming from Interstate 95 below. This is the highway which leads to my hometown. I've traveled up and down it many times. As I turn to return to my vehicle I begin to become somewhat sentimental. I pass several restaurants where my ex-girlfriend and I had shared a meal. I use to be so aggravated whenever she would make me hold her purse while she shopped but in this moment I truly missed her. The sun is setting now. As I look at my clock I find proof that Summer is returning. It seems like only weeks ago the sun was setting at 4 pm .

Thursday, February 15, 2007

3D Neighborhood & Labyrinth

The assignment was to construct a 3 dimensional labyrinth and neighborhood that popped off the page. I decided to portray my neighborhood as a boring little town with little diversity. I did this by making perfect rows of cookie cutter homes out of plain white computer paper. Most towns have a school and a church so I added both. After the addition of 3 tiny cars my work was complete. I also think it's important to note that the town was constructed atop a calendar. I felt that this symbolized the monotony of my environment which is pretty much the same day in and day out. My labyrinth was a maze with a sort of monolith structure in the center. This too was constructed from plain white computer paper. My classmates and instructor got a kick out of the paper which was beneath my labyrinth. It was the flip side of my Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Calendar. When presenting my work I joked about the women. I said that I most likely would not try to find my way out of a labyrinth that was filled with beautiful women. I enjoyed the assignment because it allowed me to be an artist. It also really made me appreciate the city of Philadelphia. I enjoy the cities diverse culture.

I Went Wandering

The snow crunches beneath my feet
as I walk across the street
an arctic wind sends a chill down my spine
It stings my ears and makes them red
Wish I had a hat to cover my head
for this northeast winter is unkind
My direction holds no purpose
Just got up and left my fortress
seemed as good a time as any for a walk
In the distance kids are playing
Powdered snow is good for sleighing
moving closer still now I can hear them talk
I was once a youngster
A smart mouthed snotty nosed little monster
and I lived for days like this
Oh how I loved those snow days
early dismissals and two hour delays
A day at home was nothing short of bliss

Thursday, February 8, 2007

I Reorganized My Room This Weekend

My room is in the basement of a 3 story suburban home. I do not have my own entrance to the basement but it is still nice to be so separated from the rest of my family. My room is really 2 small rooms in one. When I enter the first room the only light shines in through a tiny rectangular window. If I continue I enter a second room where upon closing the door no light can shine through. This is where my bed is. I can fall asleep at any time during the day because my room gets so dark it feels as though it's night time. I like this about my room; however, sometimes I can get cabin fever. I miss looking out of a window into the daylight and onto the street below. When I gaze out of my window all I see is the drivers side tire of my neighbor's Ford Aerostar. I figure a little bit of sunlight is better than none at all and this is why I moved my bed into the room with the window. I must say it was sort of nice being awakened naturally by the sun; as opposed to my ear drum piercing alarm clock. I enjoyed watching the rain trickle down the window Paine but when I woke up Sunday morning to the site of 3 snotty nosed little kids who were spying through the window I decided to crawl back into my cave. I know what you're thinking, I could just put up some blinds and my problem would be solved but these are my demon little brother's friends and they wont stop hanging around my window until I go upside their heads with a shovel and even then... mmm I don't know. Truth of the matter is I like darkness. I've grown accustomed to it and it helps me get to sleep. Afternoon naps are one of my favorite pastimes and I can't let the sun come between me and my happiness.