An Empty Map of Edinburgh
The Concept
All memories are mediated. Without intervention we would have no track of our memories. Even when we simply remember an event from our childhood, we enclose our memories in words, images, languages and so on. We need media -any kind- not only to be able to share memories, but even to have them. There is an imageable city that emerge as a result from our actions and patterns
As part of my Studio Documentation Semester at ECA and my research in memory maps, I created a cultural probe based on the map of Edinburgh. I distributed the probes to 20 students around Edinburgh. My basic aim was to explore the ways, people build up images from the places they live and how they can project their memories with the interaction of a conventional information system such as a map. I used silkscreened maps, symbol stickers, recorded sounds, narrative and the imagination of the participants, to extract from them personalized maps of the city. The fact that Edinburgh is walkable, easy to navigate and has memorable components made the probe capable to provoke inspirational responses.
The participants were challenged to create traces of movement and experiences. Prompts, rather than definite statements, the result maps showed if and how people overlap between the physical geography of a place and the fragmented memories of it. A place, its inhabitants and their behaviours are more complex than conventional maps illustrate.
A documentation video showing one participant's interaction with the project can be watched here.