Per the mysterious instruction of the lovely Professor Waldvogel, I ventured out to get a map to destroy as the first part of this assignment. I decided I’d search for my map while making a grocery run at Target. The thing about maps at Target is that they only have about 8 of them in the tiniest section imaginable and only one of them was made of paper and fit for destroying. So I ended up leaving the store with a huge road map of South Carolina.
Trying to be as ritualistic about it as possible while at the same time having no real connection to the process, I proceeded to destroy the map in the following ways.
1) Cut out all the major cities
2) Burn them
3) Wet and ink the major highways
4) Rip the map apart along the wet roads
5) Split into an even 13 pieces and write the letters of “South Carolina” on each piece
6) Shred the legend
And so my map was thoroughly destroyed.
For part deux of this project, we were asked to dwell on the process of our destruction and the result it produced. So, as I sat in class staring at the delicate remains of my map, I began to notice all of the things you see on a map when it is devoid of the large societal hubs which I had removed. Cities and roads removed, the things that began to stand out were the national parks, national forests, lake, rivers, camping spots, etc. Nature seemed so much more prominent without us.
So as these thought started coming together, my first reaction was to create a poetic version of what I was thinking. So I started to write. I wrote about the destruction I had caused. I wrote about the destruction we cause. I wrote about South Carolina. I wrote about nature and how it is so vivid. I wrote about how it connects us in spite of ourselves. I wrote about letting ourselves be susceptible to its majesty.
And then, once the thoughts were in order and made sense, my second reaction, being a sound design major, was to create a soundtrack to fit the journey that my words had started to map out. So, having written the words to be spoken, I recording myself reciting the poem spoken-word-style and composed a soundtrack with fitting ambiences and original music to back up the reading.
(Feel free to download!)
The result was unexpectedly meaningful to me as well as being rich and colorful despite being only sound. I was slightly impressed with myself, seeing as I had to delve into a sound process I hadn’t really dealt with before (usually make uptempo dance music, as seen here). Overall, I quite enjoyed this project.
- Tied well back into the map process. Well thought out.
- Reading may have been a little tinny. Slightly unintelligible.