A few of the many terrific projects made in this class:
March 31, 2011 in porter 23B
Right. Porter. You’ve all been there, now make a map of what you’d like to show people: where will your walking tour take people to.
This map is a view from Open Street Maps ( http://www.openstreetmap.org/ ). They have terrific, open source / user generated maps of the whole world. If you’re more comfortable, use google maps to generate a view of porter that shows all the important spots for your future tour, and draw them in on the computer or by hand. Spend time walking and thinking, not geeking out with mapping software. Have fun!
Bring some form of your map to class next week. If it is digital, email it to me ahead of time. If it is a print out, bring the hard copy. We’ll be determining groups based on these maps; if it is obvious to everyone that you didn’t do the assignment, no one will want you in their group. That will be awkward and sad.
March 31, 2011 in porter 23B
Porter College 23B: Personal and Collective Narratives as Walking Tour
Video walking-tours utilize the mobile capacities of hand-held media players to offer viewers site-specific narratives that help navigate, and better understand, the space of the tour. This course, and the walking tour that it will produce, focus on personal, architectural, social, and ecological histories of Porter College. Students survey those histories and the use of video walking tours in contemporary art practices as background for writing and filming a collectively executed walking tour through Porter College and its immediate environs.
The class will select a route along which the walking tour will travel. Students will self-select working groups based on the routes that students wishes to research and write about. These working groups are responsible for: a) determining a route for that tour to take b) recording video footage that maps the route and c) recording audio narratives that cover the the route, based on the writings and research of working group members. By the end of the course those recordings will have become the audio narration of a completed video walking tours authored collectively by the course.
The syllabus that follows attempts to lay out a likely progression of research and group activity. It should not be taken to preclude or discourage experimentation nor the inclusion of happy accidents. Rather, it has been designed as an easy path to completion of a successful group project; the path of least resistance, I believe.
TEXTS: Access to course readings available in person.
ATTENDANCE: More than one absence will result in substantial grade depreciation. Excused absences require proper documentation.
EVALUATIONS: Select and draw a proposed route through Porter and its immediate environs in UC Santa Cruz’s West Campus (10%), 2 page paper about one course reading of student’s choice Due no later than May 26 via email (25%), Carefully edited written version of the narrative to be recorded (25%), Completion of tasks contributing to the finished walking tour (30%), Attendance (10%). UCSC standards of academic integrity will be expected and strictly enforced.
Day 1 (3/31/2011): Introduction to the idea of walking as art practice. View documentation of recent projects by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller and, here at UCSC, by Karl Baumann. View maps of Porter College and suggest possible routes.
Read: Rebecca Solnit “The Shape of a Walk” from Wanderlust: A History of Walking (pps. 267-276). Photocopied and handed out at first meeting.
Assignment: Using supplied map of Porter College and its immediate environs, determine the route that you think your walking tour might take. This route should avoid travel through any locked or private spaces (dorm hallways, secured areas). Bring digital copy of your proposed route to second class meeting.
Day 2 (4/7/2011):Selecting the routes/ selecting the working groups. After comparing proposed routes in the classroom setting, and identifying key features, we will break up into working groups based on similarities among proposed routes. In groups students will introduce themselves in terms of their academic and extracurricular interests: a) what’s your major? b) can you think of ways that this course is related to your primary academic studies? c) what do you enjoy outside of school? d) how might you imagine incorporating those interests in a walking tour of west campus? Time allowing, working groups will be sent out to walk through Porter to select the final route. Wear appropriate clothes and shoes: be prepared for weather and for walking outside on uneven terrain.
Read: Selections from The Unnatural History of UCSC (Jeff Arnett, ed.). Eres and handouts in class.
Day 3 (4/14/2011): Laying the groundwork: writing a place. Discuss readings. View documentation of more project precedents. Group reading of Julio Cortazar’s defamiliarization technique, “How to Climb a Staircase,” and discuss how it might be applicable to thinking about and writing about our routes and the places along them. Then working groups travel to their general areas; each student picks a point on the route to write from. It is okay if more than one student chooses the same general area, but this is a time set aside for you to think by yourself. Students are to perform 15 minute free-writes individually and then re-group with working group to share writings and discuss. Try to address each student’s writing on multiple registers: does it tell a story? Evoke poetic images? Relate historical information or scientific knowledge? Reconvene for whole class discussion: problems? concerns? Dress appropriately.
No readings this week.
Assignment: Write rough draft of narrative. Typed, double-spaced. Practice reading it aloud. Suggested length: 150-300 words.
Day 4 (4/21/2011): Combining separate narratives. Brief discussion of the writing process and it’s difficulties. Break into working groups. Each student reads his/her narration aloud to group, pausing, when applicable, to note where geographic associations with particular passages of the narration. Note these associations on supplied map printout. After all students have read their rough drafts, attempt to organize the separate narratives into one text with multiple voices. Take note of redundancies and of the sites along your route that the combined narration lingers. Each group walks entire route as students take turns reading their rough drafts aloud to the group. Students are to take notes regarding what should be in the video shot, problems and opportunities of different locations, and how the separate narratives might best be combined or interwoven. Re-convene in classroom for discussion and decision making. Dress appropriately.
Read: Selections from The House of Books has no Windows by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. E-res.
Assignment: Revised narrative. Include shot-list (short description of what the camera will capture at different moments in narrative). See hand-out. Also, identify one or more cameras per group to shoot video with. Extra Credit: volunteer to bring a video camera (or point and shoot with video capability) for next week’s class and build a DiY steady-cam. See HYPERLINK “http://littlegreatideas.com/stabilizer/diy/”http://littlegreatideas.com/stabilizer/diy/ for examples and instructions.
Day 5 (4/28/2011): Shooting the Video.Students who have volunteered to bring cameras: DON’T FORGET THEM AT HOME! Working groups compile shot-lists for from their notes and revised narratives. With the assistance of UCSC alum Miki Yamada-Foster, we will traverse the routes while shooting video and reading the revised narratives aloud: don’t worry about the sound quality or about screw-ups, we just need to use the narratives as a “script” to ensure that the video and audio will be close to the same length. Time allowing, proceed to College 8 Computer Lab to export footage and begin editing. Dress appropriately.
Read: “Beyond Locative Media” by Marc Tuters and Kazys Varnelis. HYPERLINK “http://www.networkedpublics.org/locative_media/beyond_locative_media”http://www.networkedpublics.org/locative_media/beyond_locative_media and “5th Avenue Peninsula Tour” by the Center for Land Use Interpretation (24 page booklet available on E-res or for $5 from Center for Land Use Interpretation).
Day 6 (5/5/2011): Editing Video: Meet in College 8 Computer Lab. Either on College 8 Apples or on personal machines, use iMovie to edit footage and export as Quick Time H.264. Footage should be edited with an eye to intelligibility and assuring that the final length closely matches the needs of the “script” / finished narratives. Any extra time can be dedicated to recording audio. Weather permitting, consider recording the audio on-site. Collect ambient noises. Allow for happy accidents and creative mishaps.
No reading this week. Instead, listen to “Pulling Back the Curtain,” NPR’s On The Media. http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2007/05/25/06
Assignment: with working group, finish recording rough cut of audio.
Day 7 (5/12/2011): Audio Editing: Meet in College 8 Computer Lab. Bring completed rough takes of audio. Edit audio using GarageBand or Audacity. UCSC alum Nick Fontain and I will provide introductory instruction and assistance for digital audio editing.
Day 8 (5/19/2011): Continued Editing: Meet in College 8 Computer Lab. Rough draft of completed audio and video due by end of day. After exporting completed walking tour, load it onto iPods and go try it out. Problems? Need revisions?
Assignment: Short essay response to one or more class readings. Refer to hand-out for prompts and details. Due no later than 5/26 via email.
Day 9 (5/26/2011): Revisions. This class meeting is in anticipation of some groups not having finished on time. If your group is finished with its walking tour, try showing it to friends and consider any last minute revisions. Export final versions and seek podcast license for it. Post to course web-site.
Day 10 (6/2/2011): Sharing: Bring iPods/ other mobile video players with final version of walking tour on them. Share your group’s final walking tour with other groups. Go on two or more such tours, and re-group for critique, discussion a pot-luck/ picnic.
Assignment: final versions of any and all audio must be submitted to Kyle by 6/3/2011 at 12 pm for inclusion in the finished walking tour.
Thanks for a delightful and rewarding class!