Saturday, October 17, 2009

Been on Haitus -- but have a new idea

The line that marks the railroad tracks represents
the cultural, economic and historical divisions in my city.

It's there, but we take it for granted.......but to me this demarcation draws the line between:

Haves vs. Have nots
North vs. South
Majority vs. Minority
White vs. Black
Towns vs. Gowns
“Right Side” vs. “Wrong Side”
Powerful vs. Powerless
Growth vs. Atrophy

Here is a quick sketch I did for this new piece. The dark curvy line is the railroad track. I'll post more as I go along.....


  1. Hi Valerie,
    The initial drawing looks beautiful and I love the concept. I look forward to seeing the piece as it evolves.

  2. The social constructs, coming from your wide experience with cartographic art, should add dimensions that are really interesting. I think the difficulty will be in clarity without stereotyping. In my experience, I was on the "right side of the tracks" for some formative years (we lived in a very poor hamlet and my father had a job). Later, we moved, and suddenly I clearly came from the wrong side of the tracks, even though in neither case were "tracks" or even the location the issue. But the metaphor worked as demarcation and concept so clearly because it was such an eye-opener to me about status and its relativity.

    Now, I think we live in the middle of the tracks, but I don't see any trains coming yet.... --snort--

  3. Thanks Tracy and June for your comments....

    June you are so right about the sterotype issue. I think I can solve this issue if I use scale as a way of mapping the phenomena of "good" and "bad" areas to live in. If I map a section near the tracks, on either side are 2 universities, one of the "haves" the other "have nots". However if I map the entire city the "good vs bad" concept takes on another set of rules.

    Anyway...I'll certainly give the concept a shot.