Articulated Detroit: Visualizing EnvironmentsJacob Greene & Madison Jones
The Trace ARC project “Articulating Detroit” is a location-based public writing project funded through a subvention grant from the 2017 Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment Conference. The project invites conference goers to participate in an AR walking tour along a 2.5 mile stretch from Wayne State University to the Detroit River. As they traverse this space, participants will be able to access multimedia overlays explaining the rich cultural history of Woodward Avenue within the context of Jeff Rice’s spatial methodology in Digital Detroit. As Rice notes “engaging with spaces means being more than spectator (9).” Thus, our application will also have an interactive component that allows participants to “tag” physical objects and signs (e.g. street signs, murals, company logos, etc.) along Woodward Avenue with short multimodal texts reflecting on their experience. “Articulating Detroit” follows Rice’s advice by asking participants to trace the seemingly mundane “details”— street signs, abandoned buildings, graffiti, etc.— that constitute “Detroit” as a spatial phenomenon (1). In so doing, we hope to visualize how the city of “Detroit” is not reducible to any kind of static, essential identity but rather emerges as the result of contingent relationships between and among human and non-human actors.
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