Geography 870 Archival Project

For our 2nd project in Geography 870, we visited Queen’s University Archives, located in Kathleen Ryan Hall. The Theme of our second assignment is Mackintosh-Corry Hall (images). Here is a Mackintosh-Corry Hall video, which represents renovations to the dining area that are underway, but proclaims to be a video tour. It only addresses food facilities in the building. “It is a central building” seems to be a popular opinion. How has its centrality changed over time?

Locator 5059

Box 2 File 1

Box 2 File 7

D316 (my office ) of Mackintosh-Corry didn’t exist in the 1973 plans (drawings).

D365 and D360 weren’t specified as bathrooms in the 1973 drawings.

In the D wing of Mackintosh-Corry there was a D116 a D216, no D316, a D416, no D516. It appears that with the exception of the first floor, only the oddly numbered floors lacked the _16.

It seems as though, after consulting the plans and meeting minutes (see photos below) that spaced of leisure, consumption (food, knowledge), and storage are labeled and planned specifically, whereas spaces of ridding are less explicitly labeled.

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Corn Maze

While ambling through the corn maze, I couldn’t help but view and experience it as an all too blatant metaphor…and I was one of the last ones out! While fieldwork is a maze of sorts, which requires negotiation, it isn’t a competition although certain things make it so, such as funding, awards etc…

I was observing who took some sort of lead in their groups and who wanted to hold the walkie-talkie. I was happy to amble around, make wrong turns and even had to stop along the way and take a piss (off the beaten path, of course…and I promise I’m not obsessed with bathrooms and peeing, I just couldn’t hold it).

I had no desire to hold the walkie-talkie, although I enjoyed the voices and noises that came out of it. I felt like it enabled the blind to lead the blind in a way, as we were never really sure where we were in relation to other groups and sometimes we gave advice, while other times we received it. While I was in the maze, it became less about getting out and more about being in the maze, listening to the rustling of stalks, and the conversations I was able to have with my classmates (mazemates), particularly Christine and Jonathan. It was a relationship building experience, which is so important in fieldwork.

Keeping my gaze upwards was a challenge and often found myself gazing downward, which helped to maintain the maze as “mazey” and garnered both a sense of focus and of being trapped at the same time. I imagine this to be quite applicable to the various understandings and experiences of fieldwork.

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870 Walking and Talking

This video, Soul of the Business District, reminded me of our field journal assignment. Sook Yin Lee walks around the Business District of Toronto looking for its “soul” and swings between her own narrative and intermittent interviews. She comes upon 3 people hanging out and performing in the “G-spot” of the BD.

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Call for Papers- Nonhuman Turn

http://www4.uwm.edu/c21/pdfs/conferences/2012_nonhumanturn/NonhumanTurn_CFP.pdf

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The material and the virtual

This topic is of great interest to me, particularly in regard to technology. How does technology “embody” our virtual selves?

It has a material make-up, yet that set of materials yields and entirely different kind of information. For example, we can look to the materials of which it is made up for information about processes of decay or the evolution of technology, but how do we get at the emotions of what is virtually contained inside these materials?

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Geography 870.03 Soundwalk

I did my sound walk project today. I began by putting a note on the front of my shirt that said “I am doing a recorded soundwalk for a class project.”

To hear the recording of the soundwalk click—–> Mackintosh-Corry Bathroom/Consumption Soundscapes

The idea of this particular soundwalk was to travel through (un)gendered spaces of consumption and ridding, in particular bathrooms in Mackintosh-Corry and the newly opened food court. I used elevators, stairwells, and hallways as transitional spaces.

I wanted to start the walk in restooms because most people think of consumption as separate from ridding, however, I maintain they are processes that are bound up. One rids predicated on future consumption. I imagine one uses the restroom in order to be able to consume more food or beverage in the future and not the other way around (typically–of course there are exceptions to this idea). One doesn’t typically consume food in drink with the major intent being that “yay, I’m going to rid this later!”

So the walk starts on the 2nd floor of Mackintosh-Corry Hall part D.

1. I began in the men’s washroom. I listened to the sounds coming from inside the restroom (largely mechanistic) and sounds from outside the restroom (largely human voices). ( about 2 1/2 minutes) I used the sink while in the men’s room.

2. Next, I went across the hall the women’s restroom. Listen to the water, from the sink, from the toilet, from the human. I used the washroom. Washed my hands. Dried them with paper towels. I couldn’t hear her fixing her hair. I couldn’t hear her looking in the mirror.

3. I took the elevator up to the 5th floor in Section D of Mac-Corry. Listen to the whirring of the motor, perhaps greet a friend as I did. Listen to the dings of each floor. Listen to doors open and close.

4. I entered the men’s room. I listened to the sound of myself taking pictures in front of the urinal. I listend to the sound of myself writing on my notepad about the soundwalk then and now in progress.

5. I crossed the hall to the women’s restoom. Listen to the sink drip. Listen to the fluorescent lights.

6. I took the stairwell back to the second floor. Listen to your own footsteps and those of others.

7. Walk down the hallway of Mackintosh-Corry until you reach the restrooms across from the food court behind the vending machines. I entered the women’s restoom. I couldn’t hear her looking in the mirror. Play a symphony of hand dryers. Turn on the extreme sinks- Do they sound different? Flush two toilets- do they sound different?

8. I walk through the hallway until I reach the men’s restroom. Listen. Go into a stall and listen. Someone else is here. Does liquid entering a urinal sound different than a toilet? Gendered noises, gendered spaces.

9. Go across the hall into the food court area. Approach the coffee pots. Are they brewing? Are they heating? Are they being poured into paper cups and mugs?

10. Approach the tables. Listen to someone eating or drinking. Can you tell if the person is male or female just by listening?

*Observations (not necessarily visual)

1.My very presence in the restrooms lead to a decrease in the likelihood of certain bodily sounds.

2.We enter gendered spaces of bathrooms to rid things from our bodies, but share a space for consuming theses very things we will later rid.

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Geography 870.01

I would honestly love to get a group of amazingly intelligent people I know to check this out together:

Call for Collaborators

Any takers?

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Geography 870.02

This week we are to turn in a soundwalk, which I am quite excited to do. I want to create a soundwalk recording to create a palimpsest of sound for the next listener. A “real” time comparison of sound. I plan on choosing bathrooms as my 5 key locations. I will use men’s, women’s, unisex, and family bathrooms where available. I feel those are often quite gendered spaces and therefore deemed semi-private places or semi-public spaces. How will the soundscapes reveal (not for me to pre-decide here) what the more stable or recurring/constant sounds are? Gendered bathrooms  are threshold soundscapes, because of their possessing private attributes and public simultaneously.

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Geography 870

For a course I am taking this semester students are to keep a journal.scrapbook type record. For a description please click on the title: historical and cultural issues in fieldwork and scroll down to GPHY 870.  I will approach the assignment by adding links and random mutterings and many questions. I won’t attempt to answer them all, if at all. This is an exploratory experiment and I am a journaling/blog novice.

I was talking with CHRISTopher this week and he spoke of a project he was working on (the details of which are being left out to protect their own identities) lead me to some of the following questions in relation to my research interests:

Do people put technology in their wills? What happens to the information people leave behind? In materiality, both technological devices and furniture etc… How are the past, present and future intertwined with each other through retaining “in the family” on a domestic scale and ridding in wills and passed on or divested through patriarchally embedded practices  of inheriting, both an act of consumption and ridding at once. How does this pertain to non-material passing of stories, through folklore and story-telling, as well as everyday practices through identity performance? What role does virtual space play in knowledge and memory creation?

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gEoGrApHiEs

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