Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My experience with the train

I am unable to post this on our actual traffic site for some reason, so I am posting it here. Hopefully, I will get my group mates to post it for me later. I wanted to touch upon the experiment in more detail. The reactions were outlined a bit in my manifesto; but I really wanted to comment more on how it felt these past couple of days. Since posting my poster in the stationm I have recieved calls from friends and classmates who saw the poster and wanted to check if I was in any way in trouble or in harm. They all disclosed that they were in shock when they saw the posters and some even stated that they were about to have a "heart attack." If they didn't see the poster themselves, they called saying that a friend of their, who recognized me as being friends with my friend, told them about it. That was so interesting to me that people, who I didn't necessarily have a direct connection to cared enough to call those I was close to. It was even more interesting to me that people recognized my face even if I was bald in the picture haha.

My Manifesto

The train station: A place where the paths of all different kinds of people converge. The train station in New Brunswick is sort of a meca for the inhabitants of the city. It is there that everyone and different social groups interact with one another. (ie. the locals, the students, corporate travelers, teh homeless, the foreigners)The purpose of the train station is to provide a place to wait for those we need to take the train to different locations. It is a transient and heterotopic space for those who use it, a space where technology and people intertwine with one another. People need trains to get places, and trains need people to operate. It is a heterotopia because it is never constant as it also has an inflow and outflow of different people: It is never the same. It is a structure that is enclosed by the city. It is a place that is priviledged to those who can afford to ride a train. Those who can't surround it, but are never allowed onto the train or to just wait inside. The train station is an expansive interconnected web of people. Each person has their own story to tell and purpose as to why they are there. The purpose of transportation is obvious for all: What isn't obvious is the question of what is actually being transported. There are many layers to the train station and the issue of what is being seen and what is not is a complicated.

I thought it would be interesting to do a social project that plays upon social responsibility. Since 911 every type of public transportation has signs that disclose, "See Something, Say Something." My group thought it would be interesting to find out if the inhabitants of New Brunswick care enough to actually "Say Something" if they were confronted or placed in a situation where they should. Although Rutgers consumes much of New Brunswick, there are still paces on the outskirt that are untouched by Rutgers culture. These areas and their inhabitants are somewhat cast aside, their narratives ignored, as "Rutgers life" is what New Brunswick often promotes as their staple culture.What really inspired our project was the huge narrative of New Brunswick is one that is not often talked about...Human and Drug trafficking. Many do not know, but New Brunswick is a hub for both. Why? there are many immigrants here and there are those who are not legal. It is hard for them to find ways to support themselves and it is dangerous as well. With that being said, it came to be of intrigue of how they go about their trafficking. The train station...who is being transported?, what is being transported?, is it by will?, is it legal?

Our project involved posting ambiguous posters that said "Have you seen this guy/girl?" We place pictures of me and of Sunny, underneath we placed a number to see if people would call if they did see us. We did not detail as to why we wanted people to call: We wanted to see where their imagination or assumption would lead them. Were we missing or were we wanted for a crime? In a sense this, our posters were a score. We left it to see how people interpreted it and see whether or not they would react and preform what was being told. Some would actually call, some would see the poster and actually contact us ( meaning me, myself), some would ignore it. Either way each reaction causes another reaction and from that a continued interpretation of our poster's score was perpetuated.

So many other projects we did this semester were incorporated in this project. The idea of mapping was important. The number wee place don the poster was actually a hipcast. We were mapping and keeping track of people's reactions. We were seeing how they emotionally responded to the posters. Their reactions were somehwat affected by assumptions about types of people. Just as one of our projects, they had certain profiles made up for certain types of people. With me, it seems, many more people felt less threatened by my poster. They were more concerned if I was missing or in danger. When they did recognize me, they didn't see me as a big enough threat or even a threat at all to confront me or call immediately. Those who did care enough ended up being classmates, friends, co workers of mine who would directly contact my phone concerned. With Sunny, it seemed more strangers reacted. They felt that Sunny was more dangerous, that his poster had to have meant he did something wrong. Some called while others actually confronted him. We figured this was a result of gendered profiling and bias. Males are seenas more threatening than a female. Alot of our project was actually following. While Sunny and I walked around the station, the others had to be careful as they tried to document our experiment and people's reactions on the spot. In the end, we concluded that there are some people that actually do Say Something, which made us feel better. I was touched by all the texts and calls I recieved from friends who wanted to check if I was okay.

So it makes me wonder, if we, as a community, were to care enough to actually document or attention to the actual "TRAFFIC" that is occuring, would we be able to stop its perpetrators? If we placed ads with the pictures of actual criminals or actual victims would people be inspired to do more? What this project has shown me is that there are still people out there who do care enough and do feel socially obligated to protect their neighbors....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Justin and my stalkumentary

Justin decided to join me for my one class.....where we decided to "stalk" three unsuspecting classmates...

Our first attempt at taking a picture failed as our flash accidentally went off; but I was able hide the camera before the class all turned around.

We then decided to use my video camera for a while .....after a while I went back to the camera

It was strange when the class got ready to leave, no one seemed to notice my cameras.....although hidden, I would think at least one person would say something....

Our stalkumentary continued with us following them into a parking lot all the way to another parking garage

In the class room, it was easier to document them without being noticed, because there are so many blind spots and other distractions. The general protocol of having to face forward and pay attention to what was being presented aided as well.

When we got to the parking lot, the space completely changed. We were now in an open area where they would be able to noticed the fact that one or two people were suspiciously following what they were doing. Quite often we had to hide behind cars, pretending that it was our vehicle. When it came to getting to our real car we did a quick jog as I quickly snapped another smiled

At the other parking garage, we sprang out and knowing this was the end of the trail as they all split, we boldly decided to just go ahead and snap photos openly

the whole time, no one noticed....everyone seemed to be consumed by their own routine.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My maps,-74.446278&spn=0.008484,0.027509&z=15

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where I took Sarah


It's so crazy how fast time is going. Sooner than we think, it will be spring then summer then another semester. A lot of things are changing. This month, in particular, has been really strange. I found out a lot about people and myself. Personally I feel like the experience of this month has changed the way I look at certain people, siuations, and myself. My life at this moment is moving at a pace that is so fast. It's like riding in a fast car. You see everything past by, but at the same time it all becomes the same blur after a while. In the end, the only things you remember are things that really mattered...things that altered or shaped which direction you should go in. All these random events seem to occur, yet they all in the end come to the same point, the same realizaton. In the end, all I can do is have faith and keep moving.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

answers to my fellow blogger's inquiries

1) Space and Palce
Question from :Emily S.
Tuan says consciousness is really a sense of orientation, is there not an agent or a self within, that has the power to shape our orientation, not just be shaped by external conditions?

This is the question I was struggling with as well. It is hard to say. It would be ideal to see oneself as a rational being with the autonomy to control in some way the way we are situated in our reality in thought; but we all know it is not this simple. Truth be told we are a body of irrational thoughts that are molded and infulenced the history and meanig of all that surrounds us. We are taught to see and feel everything as a response to something that has already been instilled in us. Seeing is reading : It is difficult, especially during this time, to disassociate meaning from objects and space and try to view them as nuetral objects that we can impose our own thougts upon. Even our own thoughts are contructed upon something that was built upon earlier than our own exsistence.

2) Of Other Spaces
Question from: Justin D.
Why does space supposedly cause more anxiety in our era than dealing with time?

Space causes more anxiety than time; because it is in space that time is constructed. depending on where you are times can either exist or not. Time can be drawn out or be pass quickly. We, wanting to be rational, want to have some sort of control ouver our environment. With time we try and assert some type of knowledge and power through the constructs of mathematically segmented dvisions of hours, minutes, seconds. In reality, there is no such thing as telling time; but we recieve false comfort from the "control" we have over it. Space causes more anxiety; because we really have no control over how it is constructed in a sense. Space is affected by all aspect of one being, which is in itself a refelection of the space surrounding us. Space is something that can not truely ever be defined as it is something experienced differently by each person. In it even the things we believe we have control over, time, are contorted and remolded.

3) C++
Question from: Jamie Kulger
How has the transformation of clocks reshape our lifestyles?

As I stated in the previous questions, time is but a mere social construct used to put boundaries on something that is limitless. The way we tell time now, in opposition to before, is a reflection of how we are growing even further from nature and reality. Can it be said that without using the concept of time, the Earth has a a natural rhythm: sun rises, sun set. If we listen closed it also has a beat. Before they use to tell time by the sun. then it envolved to us telling time with clocks. After we learned to aodrn ourselves with portable clocks, watches. Now we tell time through our cell phones, TV, computers. As we progress we become more disattatch from what is a natural sense of time as we try to conform everyone into a technologized beat that forces all into the same modes of seconds, minutes, hours, days...