Sunday, December 18, 2011
Crime Map Walk
Here are some photos from my final project for my Performance Art class. The following text is my short artist statement about the project.
Crime Map Walk
Performance documentation from 10.12.11
Video, laptop, paper, pins
This performance is inspired by the idea of the artist as traveler, responding to the city they find themselves in as well as walking tours and maps. Its jumping off point was an online “crime map” of Baltimore, which one can consult to find an up-to-the-minute map and information indicating the locations and types of crimes committed across the city. Before coming to Baltimore, I found myself browsing such maps as a way of attempting to distinguish between the “good” and “bad” parts of the city. As any long-time resident of Baltimore knows, it is quite difficult to make such a distinction here, where there is a fairly high crime rate city-wide.
For this performance, I used the Baltimore Crime Map (http://crimebaltimore.com/) to trace a walking path between my house in Charles Village and a main intersection in the Inner Harbour. I then walked this long path, trying to pass as many sites of recent crimes as possible, taking photo-documentation in the form of over 100 photographs taken every half-block or so along the way. These photographs were then turned into a stop-motion style video, which serves as the main document of the performance.
This performance plays with the idea of how people respond to crime and fear in an urban environment. As a defense mechanism, many people avoid areas they feel are “bad” in their day-to-day travels. This performance reverses this logic, and in doing so, faces certain fears of crime head on. Also, in performing this walk on a Saturday during the holiday season, I realized that hardly anyone was walking around on the streets I walked during my journey. This performance also attempts to address the importance of street life and pedestrianism in keeping cities both lively and safe.