Bodies (annotated topography of Chicago)
From the Oxford Dictionaries, body (bod·y) /ˈbädē/ can be defined as a physical structure, the main or central part of something, or a large or substantial amount of something; a mass or collection of something.
The intent of this introductory exercise is to clarify the position that the City is a body made up of many other bodies. It is an open and ever-changing system that can be defined in a multitude of ways, and interpreted according to criteria across different scales (personal to global) and in various rates of flux (daily life patterns to geological history).
The objectives for this exercise are for you to begin to develop your own understanding and relationship of the variety of ‘bodies’ that compose the City and begin to place yourself within that open system.
– define the term body
– contemplate the city as a body of bodies
– relate yourself to the city through an investigation of your personal territories
-develop new frameworks for mapping the city
In studio, introduce yourself by constructing a map of “your territories” within the city (your own personal Chicago constellation or archipelago).
1. Where do you go? What points do you frequent regularly, less frequently, for fun, for work, to relax, to administer, etc.. Are there real points that ground your perception of the city, even if you’ve never been to them, do they exist in the present, or the past? Using crosshairs, indicate as many points as possible and describe them.
2. Even though the grid seems to have a repetitive order, and makes it easy to mark points, it contains infinite variations in texture and identity across scale. So any discrete coordinate can be understood as a point within one or many overlapping territories. What are the territories (bodies) that contain your points? Draw an outline to represent the boundaries of these territories. Do they follow the grid (e.g. a district), obey their own internal logic (e.g. metro), or other (e.g. park district or gang turf)? Are there very clear boundaries or are they fuzzy?
3. Discuss and critique your terms for the mapping of the bodies. What are your initial instincts and how do they change as the conversation unfolds? Explore the variations in understandings of the term and criteria used to map the term.
Analog: On 5 ½” x 8” (half of an 8 ½ x 11 oriented portrait) pieces of paper, sketch several (at least 10) autobiographical bodies that represent your relationship to the city. At the bottom of each card, annotate the body. Provide a sentence or two that describes the body (it’s criteria, scale, etc) and your relationship to the body.
Digital: Digitally map the bodies. Every student has a template file (Adobe Illustrator) assigned to them in a Dropbox folder that will be shared. The file is named using the first 2 letters of each student’s Lastname, and then Firstname. So, for example:
SCAN.ai SChachman, ANdrew
TIAN.ai TInucci ANdrew
WIAM.ai WIlliams, AManda
The file contains 2 layers. A bodies layer for transcribing. A basemap for reference. Students are to simply transcribe their outlines on the bodies layer, then upload the file to a common directory on DropBox.
All of your mapped ‘bodies’ should be autobiographical. They should represent the ‘bodies’ that you are personally in contact with either historically or on a day to day basis.
Bodies can be defined as:
M 13 Jan exercise launch
W 15 Jan exercise due
For a group studio crit on Wednesday please have the following ready to present (pinned up) prior to the start of studio on Wednesday:
1. A minimum of 10 rendered and annotated bodies. These should each be on a 8 x 5 ½ note card.
2. An individual print out of your illustrator file. Color printout 8 ½ x 11
3. One collated illustrator file for the entire studio. Printed and mounted before Wednesday’s class.
2. http://www.dykhuis.ca/art/radar-paintings/mar-06.php (Peter Dykhuis, artist, YHZ Radar Paintings)
3. http://www.jamescohan.com/artists/ingrid-calame/selected-works/# (Ingrid Calame, artist)
4.) http://www.amandahughen.com/works_on_paper/standard_interference.html (Amanda Hughen, artist)