Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Quick Thought on Community Involvement:

I think it was pretty clear that the three of us approached our maps of the world from very different angles. While they all involved elements of personal experience, the level of influence that our personal experiences had on the drawings varied greatly. And more than that, the substance conveyed in the each of the drawings, and therefore the visual characteristics of the drawings, seemed to me extremely diverse. In terms of our maps of our bodies, I think it was clear again that we each approached our map making from different places, choosing to represent our selves in three different ways. (As a side note: it is interesting to me how this can show what we value about ourselves, how we view space and relationship within our bodies, how we approach any thinking about our physical selves, etc.) However, I don’t see these approaches as being quite as extreme in their differences as our world maps were. Because here’s the thing, we can all have extremely different experiences in the world, and that can show itself in extremely different ways on paper. My knowledge of other places in the world, places that I haven’t experienced, can only come through what I see in books and the media. There’s no way for my picture of the world to be the same as anyone else’s picture of the world. But the thing about bodies is that we have no experience anywhere in the world that wasn’t somehow filtered through our bodies. These bodies allow us to move, think, feel, eat, talk, sleep, reason, pee, etc. And so, I’m thinking that with all of these basic fundamental experiences in common, it makes sense that body maps would be more similar than our world maps. If our body maps are in some fundamental way experiential (and I think they must be…), then wouldn’t it make sense for our maps to reflect a certain amount of common experience?

This makes me wonder about people in general: if you were to give paper and drawing utensils to a very large group of people, I wonder if the world maps would have a greater spectrum of color/individuality/subject/approach/etc than the body maps. Our experiences within our bodies and perceptions of our bodies are more similar because of their human-sized, human level natures, and I’m wondering if that would be reflected on a larger scale among a big group of people. We all have bodies, and the majority of our bodies are relatively similar. I know that how we think about our bodies and how we choose to represent them can be very different, but at the heart of it, these three maps seem somehow more linked. (Or maybe it’s just that I can relate to them, more than the maps of the world…) In any case, wouldn’t it be an interesting thing to try?



Blogger Maps said...

I like thinking of the body as the universal filter. Some people certainly have very different experiences of their body and this shapes their art-Kahlo for instance. But at rock bottom all our bodies are the same. Some people simply have attention drawn to an area-the person with acid reflex or allergies who has to be careful what they eat, the person with a bad ankle who can't wear fancy shoes, the asthmatic..no body is perfect. And our bodies are in a constant state of decline. "Remember, the forest eats itself and lives forever." Humans are part of the forest, as much as we would wish to deny it.

7:43 AM  

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