Response 46 – A Day in the Space of a Life

Dear Marie,

Did I put us on the wrong track with Response 44? You didn’t enjoy the task that grew from it, and I haven’t thrived in responding to the repeated task here. The idea with this current response and the task it will generate is to return to what you may have really wanted in Task 44, when you ask me to provide you with a ‘score’—a set of instructions that frame a physical exploration. In my response here I have tried to come up with a score in a form that you will enjoy.

My approach to Task 46 was to record my movements and ‘stays’ through and in different spaces over the course of a long day. The diagrammatic representation of ‘home’ would be the sum of these movements and ‘stayings put’. I the task, I was meant to use our friend Erin’s map-drawing of a walk through Viby as a cryptic score, but instead I decided to use her drawing as a model to emulate, something to produce myself as an outcome (though, as it turned out, I didn’t do that either). I started by making a simple timed record, as follows.

Then I used mind mapping software to chart the different spaces or destinations, which took on different sizes according to the frequency and duration of my visits to them, and were related to each other according to my mental map of our house, our local area Stensballe and the town of Horsens. 

In the next step, I referred to the time-list of activities, above, to trace the movements between the spaces. Each movement through/to a space was represented with a thin red line. As I drew in each new movement, some spaces became dense with lines, so that movement became itself a ‘block’, a loose shape of colour.

I played around with drawing on the image in an attempt to emulate Erin’s drawing, but I couldn’t seem to make it work. I decided to be happy that the scribbled image that emerged was derived from my experience and activities. It wasn’t that I inscribed the vectors of my day on a map or photo that preexisted my activities (despite the mental map to which I refer above): rather, the ‘home’ that emerges (which, via Skype, includes a virtual space — OSU (The Ohio State University) — within my computer) is the result of my movements and pauses. 

Obviously, I have in mind what Johanna Drucker says (as discussed in Response 44) about how space can be understood and represented as the effect of experience rather than its container. (For example, if you were to measure it, you would find our lounge to be much bigger than my office, in the diagram it’s the opposite.) It may be, on the other hand, that I have taken time as a neutral container. But it would be the next step to render that also as an effect of experience and not its measure.

But how to make a score to pass on to you? The image above might have sufficed, akin to the cryptic image-scores you reproduce in Task 44. But I was interested that one of the images you provided was given in both positive and negative versions. 


Examples of visual scores provided by Marie for Task 44

So I did some manipulation of my diagram to get away from the literalness and flatness of the spatial organisation, and used the simple editing tools in the Mac Photos and Preview apps to reverse the colours and to render the new image higher contrast. I fancy that the spatial distortion lends the impression of third dimension, and the negative has made the relationship between marks and ground more dynamic. This image will be the basis of your next task.

See next task here.