CAITLIN CHAN - THE GOOD PLACE MAPS


Inspired by Michel de Certeau’s ideas of living as a methodology and Kathleen Stewart’s concept of atmospheric attunements, these are a collection of maps that display the relationships forged in motion. How does our mode of mobility affect intrapersonal relations with other humans, animals and nature, as well as transform the relationship to the self? How does the transportation infrastructure affect what we hear, see and smell? How does the material infrastructures we move through affect the immaterial atmospheres of emotional affect?

Using different forms of mobility as a methodology, I track the affective shifts that I take on my journeys to different spaces. There are 4 maps in this project: the first is a large map showing different affective shifts. The second map is a detailed version of the first map, with keynotes on what was happening in the environment around me when the shifts occurred. Additionally, there are instructions on how to repeat my methodology. The third is a fantasy map, composed of the affective shifts I would ideally have in a perfect commute. The final map is a template for those who are interested to make their own maps.




CAITLIN CHAN - INTIMATE INTERVENTIONS


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ON THE LEFT: Text over a baby blue painted background that reads "Citations: Berlant, Lauren. 199"Citations: Berlant, Lauren. 1997. "Introduction: The Intimate Public Queen of America goes into the public sphere" In The Queen of America goes to Washington City. Duke University Press. Hebdige, Dick. 1991. "Chapter 4" In Subculture: The Meaning of Style. 46-70. New Accents. London ; New York: Routledge. Jeppesen, Sandra. n.d. 2016. "Understanding Alternative Media Power: Mapping Content & Practice to Theory, Ideology, and Political Action." Democratic Communiquee 27: 54-77 Brock Jr., Andre. 2020. "Distributed Blackness: African American CyberCultures.1-14.” ON THE RIGHT: Text that reads “Intimate Interventions” overtop a baby blue background. An I-phone with a yellow phone case opened up to a Facebook Messanger Conversation called “Part 1” with a message that reads “What is alternative anyways?”ON THE LEFT: At the top there is a woman with black hair half up in a bun wearing a grey turtleneck and a blue denim jacket. She talks into a speech bubble where she states “Intimate interventions are a great form of alternative media in which someone can deepen their knowledge and empathy in a private manner. Sonic media, in particular, can have a transformative effect on how a listener can interact with the space around them, as well as the folks they share the space with.” Below that there is a spiky gold box with text inside that reads “WAIT! Hold the phone...” At the bottom there is a woman with a sleek black bob and wearing a white sweater over a striped dress shirt. Above she speaks into a text bubble that reads “I have so many questions about this. First, what exactly is an intimate intervention? Also what makes media alternative? Also are all intimate interventions alternative?”.  ON THE RIGHT: At the bottom the woman with black half up in a bun wearing a blue denim jacket over a grey turtleneck and corduroy button up skirt. She speaks into a text bubble that reads “Wow so many great questions! I should first try to clarify what I mean by an intimate intervention 1) In a mediated context, an intimate intervention is a type of media that engages one on one with the user. The intimacy also indicates a reliance on using affect to convey one's content. It's interaction is a one way street, from the producer to the consumer. The term intimacy recalls Berlant's (1997) concept of intimate publics and the idea of large scale systems ofcapitalism, colonialism, hetero-patriarchy play out in intimate settings and on nano-scales. Intimate interventions can take many different forms. It can look like this zine, but it can also look like an audio-based project like an audiowalk. The main point is mimicking the affect of a one-on-one interaction. 3) Intimate interventions can be a one off project such as this series of zines or it can be a part of a greater media strategy. As to what alternative is....ON THE LEFT: A chart titled “4 types of Alt Media (adapted from Jeppeson 2016)”. There are four quadrants. In the upper left quadrant there is text that reads “DIY Media Scale of Engagement? Individual Methods? Do-it-yourself attitude, independent at as many stages of production Goals? Self representation” lies atop light violet background. The upper right quadrant there is text that reads “Community & Citizen Scale of Engagement? Community Methods? Community participation, skill sharing Goals? Communal empowerment” atop a mint green background. In the lower left quadrant there is text that reads “Critical Media Scale of Engagement? The post-industrial proletariat, class lens Methods? Vertical or horizontal organization - more focused on content Goals? Economic Justice” against a sage green background. The lower right quadrant there is text that reads “Autonomous & Radical Media Scale of Engagement? 'The people' as a whole, very large scale Methods? Horizonal organization, quasi-professional Goals? Collective Autonomy” against a baby blue background. Below the chart there is a spiky golden box with text inside that reads “Note that her categories of alternative media are assumed from a white positionality and don't account for the ways in which subaltern groups inherently come from a marginalized position!”   ON THE RIGHT: A woman with black hair half up in a bun wearing a turtleneck speaks into a text box that reads “So what is alternative media? The key to defining what alternative is context. Where we are and the histories of where we lay affect what is hegemonic in that context. For example, this zine was created on Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh territory (Metro Vancouver, Canada). In a Canadian/North American context systems such as white-supremacy, hetero-patriarchy and colonial-capitalism reign over every aspect of life. These larger systems seep into the way we communicate, both at the consumption and production stage of communication. Alternative media in a North American context would mean communicating from perspectives outside of these normative values. The key here is that alternative media seeks to uproot and displace hegemonic power through producing counter hegemonic narratives (Jeppesen 2016, 55) While all four categories as outlined by Jeppesen are alternative media but are not alternative to everything. It is near impossible to create any type of media that is perfectly counter-hegemonic to everything. The alternative media in theory is often different than the alternative media in practice.”ON THE LEFT: A woman with a slick black bob wearing white sweater over a striped shirt tucked into tan pants is croached down reading a zine that reads “Intimate Intervention”. Above her head there is a text box that reads “Side Note: just because one possesses a marginalized position is it doesn't mean that you can't participate in hegemonic discourse. For example, I am a racialized person but if I started to write this zine in a blaccent this zine wouldn't be alternative because stealing Black culture is the norm.” against a sage green background. To her right there is a text box that reads “Instead inhabiting a marginalized identity means is that you yourself are alternative. (Brock 2020) In the case of North America that could mean anyone who is not cis-het white abled man. Our identity as a part or alternative to the norm is often complicated and can seem contradictory much like alternative media itself.” against mint green background. ON THE RIGHT: A woman with black hair half up in a bun wearing a blue denim jacket over a grey turtleneck states in a speech bubble “So to recap, there are many different forms of alternative media and they can not be neatly divided into categories. Intimate Interventions are most closely related to DIY media, but can aim for the broader liberation in content as outlined by Community & Citizen Media / Critical Media / Autonomous & Radical Media . But are intimate interventions alternative? This is the big question. The answer to that of course depend of a multitude of factors but generally yes! Like DIY alternative media, intimate intervention often utilize DIY aesthetics to counter narratives of what legitimate knowledge looks and sounds like. This zine for instance is an intimate way of presenting academic knowledge is counter hegemonic, alternative manner. The colourful illustrations, the pictures, non-size 12 Times New Roman font, and casual tone in writing all challenge typical academic knowledge sensibilities and ways of presenting knowledge. But intimate interventions can also play into hegemonic norms, through the materiality of the medium itself as well as in content. But that is for another zine.”ON THE LEFT: Text over a baby blue painted background that reads "Citations: Bull, Michael. 2005! The I-POd and the Culture of Mobile Listening." Leisure Studies 24 (4): 343 - 355 Jeppesen, Sandra. n.d. 2016. "Understanding Alternative Media Power: Mapping Content & Practice to Theory, Ideology, and Political Action." Democratic Communiquee 27: 54-77 McLuhan, Marshall, and Marshall McLuhan. 1965. "The Medium Is the Message." In Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 7-21. New York: McGraw-Hill. Moravec, Michelle, and Jose Jimenez-Justiniano, Elsa Luciano Feal, and Jane Elizabeth Alberdeston. 2013. "Feminist Art Activism in Public Spaces: A Case Study of Los Angles in the 1970s/" in Art and the Artist in Society. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UNKNOWN: Cambridge Scholars Publisher. Robinson, Dylan. 2020. "Chapter 1: Hungry Listening" in Hungry Listening Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies. University of Minnesota Press. Robinson, Dylan. 2020. "Chapter 5: Ethnographic Redress, Compositional Responsibility" in Hungry Listening Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies. University of Minnesota Press. Srnicek,Nick. 2017 Platform Capitalism. Theory Reduz, Cambridge, UK, Polity. Sterne, Jonathan, and Jonathan Sterne. 2012. "Format Theory." in MP3: The Meaning of a Format, 1-31. Durham: Duke UP.”  ON THE RIGHT: Text that reads “Intimate Interventions” overtop a baby blue background. An I-phone with a yellow phone case opened up to Apple Music with text over top that reads “Wh(i)-pods? A Format of rebellion PART 2”.ON THE LEFT: A woman with a slick black bob wearing white sweater over a striped shirt at the top of the page asks “Okay I understand what an intimate intervention is, but what makes an audio intimate intervention so special?” In response, a woman with black hair half put up in a bun, wearing a denim jacket over a grey turtleneck responds “Great question: but before we go into that we need to discuss what is needed to form an audio intimate intervention. Medium: The way in which something is taken from point A to point B. To McLuhan (1967), this could be applied to anything, but for our sake, we are just going to limit it to communication. Medium is the way in which messages get to us. For McLuhan the content of the message does not matter because the medium itself is the message (McLuhan 1964, 8) Format: This is more specific than a medium. Defined by Jonathan Sterne, format looks more into the actual materiality of the device. Platform: digital infrastructures that serves as an intermediary for multiple different users. (Scrnicek 2017, 25) The platform isn't the message, it's the business model. On the next page, I set an example of what these could look like for a audio mobile media piece or an audio guide.”  ON THE RIGHT: In the top left corner there is a red I-pod Nano with text overtop that reads “Example: Medium: personal music player Format: MP3 Platform: Soundcloud. At the bottom the woman with black half up in a bun wearing a blue denim jacket over a grey turtleneck and corduroy button up skirt. She speaks into a speech bubble “Per the I-pod to the left of this speech bubble, there are multiple moving parts that combine to create an audio guide. Mediums, formats, and platforms combine to make an assemblage. While the medium isn't always the message, it does distort the "pureness" of the alternative content that we share. Intimate interventions, whether they be audio ones or this zine, will play into corporate assemblages in one way or another. With any media that is being shared on a corporate assemblage, one finds their content fighting against algorithms. For example, creating an intimate intervention that is academic in nature will likely not attract the same type of attention that cat photos may have on corporate platforms.”ON THE LEFT: Sage green text box that reads “However, issues with intimate interventions go beyond its assemblages. Intimate interventions like an audio guide or a zine are embedded with a specific power dynamic. Within the medium itself, there is no room for discussion and debate. There is only one voice that is being heard and that is the media producer's (in this case it is me.) This can be particularly insidious as the sense of authenticity found with this earnest presentation of knowledge can enhance the perceived legitimacy of the information being given. Inevitably, there are things that get lost in translation, especially if the producer of such a medium is not aware of the position they hold. This can effect the affect that intimate media imparts on users.” Below that there is a woman who is consuming media endlessly, including zines and earbuds. She has a slick black bob and is wearing a white sweater over a striped shirt.  ON THE RIGHT: A lady with black hair half up in a bun states “This is especially problematic in context to audio intimate interventions based on hegemonic styles of listening. This type of hegemonic listening style is described by Dylan Robinson (2020, 38) as hungry listening. Hungry Listening is described as a particularly brand of settler listening that is rooted in endless consumption of knowledge whether it is appropriate to consume or not. It is listening for the sake of what is being played as use for you, rather than listening openly to learn. This not only impacts the consumption of an intimate intervention, it can also impact the way in which we create and produce such media. If we are only listening for sounds and soundbites that have use to our pre-conceived notions of what the best version of our intimate intervention is, we inevitably manipulate what we hear in a way that is disingenuous. This in turn affect any further users consumption of such media. This reveals the greatest risk with doing an audio intimate intervention - if one isn't conscious about what type of listening is being encouraging, we can reproduce hegemonic norms and ideas without intending too.”ON THE LEFT: Sage green text box that states “While we cannot control how media is being consumed, as media producers of any nature whether it is for casual consumption or academic consumption, we can create media with deeper intention. What makes the cut for an audio mobile media piece? Why this sound and not another? Ensure that you know the history and use of all the clips that you are using for your intimate intervention, is this a sound that is meant to be shared? If you aren't a part of the community you are recording, work with them rather than about them during the process to ensure that you are doing the most that you can on your end to create an ethical piece of media“. Below that there is a woman wearing a denim jacket and a corduroy skirt handing a glass of water to another woman who is slumped over and exhausted. The exhausted woman is wearing  a white sweater over a striped dress shirt tucked into tan pants.   ON THE RIGHT: Spiky gold box with text that reads “DESPITE ALL THIS... There are many benefits that audio mobile media provides, as a site of sharing alternative media. First and foremost, corporate assemblages do not necessarily tarnish alternative content found within them because we live in a world where alternative media purity is not a reality and there should be some affordance given to anyone trying to create counter-hegemonic media in that regard. More importantly, when it is produced (and consumed) successfully, rather than encouraging hungry listening, audio mobile media can be manipulated at the creation stage to instead ingratiate the listener into a greater context. Listeners can change their relationship to space in real-time, and even change the way we listen to become more meaningful. Knowledge is effective when it is strategically affective, which is something that intimate interventions lend themselves best to. But we (as in media/knowledge producers) need to be aware of the responsibilities when it comes to utilizing affect in that way.”ON THE LEFT: Text over a baby blue painted background that reads "Citations: Lim, Merlyna. 2018. "Roots, Routes, and Routers: Communications and Media of Contemporary Social Movements." Journalism & Communication MOnographs 20 (2): 92-136 Jiwani, Yasmin. 2011. "Pedagogies of Hope: Counter Narratives and Anti-Disciplinary Tactics." Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies 33 (4): 333-53. Kidd, Jenny, and Robert R. Janes, and Richard Sandell. 2019. "Unprecedented Times? Shifting press perceptions on museums and activism" In Museum Activism, 388-399. Museum Meanings. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. McFadzean, Moya, LIza Dale-Halett, Tatiana Mauri, and Kimberley Moulton, and Robert R. Janes, and Richard Sandell. 2019. "Inside Out/Outside IN: Museums and communities activating change." In Museums Activism. Museum Meanings, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Pottinger, Laura. 2017. Planting the Seeds of a Quiet Activism." Area 49 (2): 215-222. Vaughn, Kathleen. "Walking in the Water: The Audio Guide." Read by Kathleen Vaughn. Montreal: Soundcloud.”  ON THE RIGHT: Text that reads “Intimate Interventions” overtop a baby blue background. An I-phone with a yellow phone case opened up to Soundcloud with text over top that reads “Wh(i)-pods? Media in motion the possibilities of Sonic Intimacies”.ON THE LEFT: A woman wearing a blue puffer and tan pants is texting “I can see the value in intimate interventions generally, but why would audio intimate interventions be particularly of interest?” while on the subway. She is surrounded by abstract figures that are people shaped.  ON THE RIGHT: At the top there is a spiky golden shape with the text "Or rather public art is defined by where it is not located in galleries and museums. However concomitant with attempts to move "the private viewing experience of the museum outdoors" (Morovec 2013, 148)” Below that, there is a woman wearing a check winter coat, blue denim jacket, grey turtleneck and corduroy skirt. She is wearing over the head earphones. In a speech bubble she says “Despite all of the drawbacks, sonic intimate interventions can still be an effective (and affective) alternative media intervention that can be especially be poignant in an academic context. The typical way in which academic knowledge is presented is very formal and inaccessible, with a severe and "neutral" tone, complicated words and expensive journals. Audio intimate interventions being held on corporate assemblages are the opposite. They engage on an emotive level, can privilege non-academic folks as knowledge holders in a more tangible way by using their voice, and could be uploaded on a "free" corporate platform for easier accessibility such as Sound Cloud.”ON THE LEFT: A woman walks past a row of brick houses. She is wearing a brown plaid jacket. Text above that reads “An example of an engaging audio intimate intervention created within the confines of academia is Kathleen Vaughn's "Walking in the Water: The Audio Guide." The guide is the audio portion of a larger research production that looks to connect users to the St. Point Charles waterfront and the St. Lawrence River. One of the main reasons that sonic intimate interventions are effective is due to the way it plays with geographic and historical context in real time. Vaughn's project is interesting in that it supersedes the immediate geography that it is discussing and can create a deeper experience for anyone listening to this while walking along any urban water feature.” ON THE RIGHT: A woman sits down at a lake. She is wearing a denim jacket, grey turtleneck, and corduroy skirt. Beside her is a tote bag and a pair of oxfords. Text above that reads “Audio guides such as Vaughn's can twist the notion of a montage. In a film context, the montage is using existing images, phrases or symbols edited or altered in a way that expresses a critique of the dominant narrative around said subject. (Jiwani, 2011). With audio mobile media intimate interventions, a similar effect of re-imagining one's relationship to the content around occurs not through the editing of images, rather through the natural shifts of place through time. Additionally, in the last zine, I critiqued the way in which sonic intimate interventions can encourage hungry listening, but an audio guide done effectively can give agency for the listener to engage in a "plural and multilayered impression of place." (Butler 2007, 369)”ON THE LEFT: A woman wearing a denim jacket and grey turtleneck states that “Audio intimate interventions allow us to contextualize history and geography as something that is constantly changing and in motion. It does this by playing with our senses: it is mediated sonically, yet unmediated visually (of course we are always filtering everything through our own subjectivity.) This play on our senses merges different truths in the same space. Audio intimate interventions allow us to re-imagine where we can learn. Intimate interventions of this nature can merge activist and education intentions in exciting ways. This type of media can gain empathy not only for the space and the land, but acknowledge the validity and right for other non-human and human actors to thrive in a given space.” Below that there are three scenes of a person at a museum, person at a protest and a person in a classroom. Text over the museum walls reads “Audio guides can contextualize outside the museum walls”. Text over the activist sign reads “Audio guides are an effective tactic to sway public opinion”. Text over the chalkboard in the classroom reads “Audio guides Allows independent learning at your own pace in any place”   ON THE RIGHT: A woman wearing a blue puffer and tan pants is texting “I can see the value in intimate interventions generally, but why would audio intimate interventions be particularly of interest?” while on the subway. She is surrounded by people on the subway including a lady with curly hair and a hot pink hat, mint jacket and a man with a giant red beard, green coat and scarf.