I think I am finally done with collecting data and artifacts for my map.

Last week I went back to Fales Special Collections at NYU and looked at The Public Art Fund archive. I was very grateful that they let me look at the archive since it was a new acquisition that has not been processed yet. I’m also very lucky that there was a folder called “Her long black hair”–the project I was looking for–so that it did not requiring much digging. It was quite the treasure trove. My main concern had been not being able to find the exact path of where Janet Cardiff directed her audience in her audio walk, but within the folder I found a map that I believe was hand-drawn and labeled by the artist herself. Very lucky indeed.

My next concern becomes: How do I present this material? During the paper prototyping exercise last week I become fixated on how I can present my findings to the user in the order that I want them to see it. I could hyperlink the records in the argumentative layer that a user could follow, but there is really nothing stopping them from leaving my narrative and going someplace completely different. There’s nothing wrong with that–I want them to explore our urban database–but I still keep thinking of my data as linear slideshows.

I think the solution might be in the topic of my project. I’m focusing on public art projects that use cinema technology to make the city into a movie. Why don’t I make the images, maps, videos and fliers I’ve gathered into mini movies? I could create short audio slideshows to present my findings and give a brief background on the project. My argumentative layer will explain why I’m grouping them together. The slideshows would also “remix” the data enough so that I would feel better about using copyrighted material. I could also put the sources directly on the images. The only problem is that it would not allow individual images or other artifacts to be included in our database on their own. So. Good idea or bad idea?