The Trouble with Sampling…
It is time to be honest. I have been bad about processes blogging. It truly is not for lack of trying. Each time I sit down to begin writing; something happens where I cannot for the life of me articulate what it is I am trying to do or the issues I am encountering. I My classmates however, have done a great job of exploring the questions pertinent to their subjects and it have been really helpful for me to see how they are approaching specific problems.
I think one of my main hang-ups during this process stems from our Map Critiques. Each map that has been critiqued is being judged and or deemed successful based on criterion that relies heavily on the selection of data presented. Their effectiveness and structure is totally informed by the information selected and the way in which it is presented. My project relies heavily on the idea of “Sampling” data as it would be far too much work for one semester to include the some four hundred plus monuments and markers in the city. The trouble with this method is that there is potential to gloss over important connections or leave out historically relevant moments that point to the arguments I would like to explore. As a result I have spent weeks pulling various combinations of monuments in the hopes of figuring out what fifteen to twenty locations would lend itself to the most solid argument while also keeping in mind the elements we have learned about during the Map Critiques. This is a potentially never ending process and it needs to stop!
I have come to the conclusion that this is an imperfect processes, and that is ok. There is no way to create a completely comprehensive data set from this material that will solve all of the problems and answer all of the questions I would like. So my new approach is to let the arguments pertaining to the ideas of memory within a collective urban identity to develop naturally . As Shannon and I discussed before the holiday, I will select about ten monuments and do a more in-depth exploration into their background. I will also add an additional layer that plots ten or so monuments simply as a spacial reference.
I started plotting points last night. Fingers Crossed!