Friday, May 18, 2012

of music, maps, and abandoned Homes

When your work has a face, a heart, a mind, a soul, then it is all worth doing.  After just completing a set of maps at work for a meeting of the minds, maps identifying vacant and dangerous homes surrounding select schools in the Detroit Public School system, the maps came alive.

Working within the conceptual has its limits.  Maps are simply representations of the physical environment, and can be portrayed in many ways.  The hope of utilizing such data are important, one tells oneself, because it is for the children (at least in this case).  Or for the betterment of all so decisions are made with better data.  But what is this really for?  Who exactly are the ones walking home looking at abandoned buildings everyday?  Staring at dots reveal there are a lot of dots on a plain sheet of paper, minus the stories of those dodging the dots on a daily basis.

Cafe Con Leche, Detroit, MI.  Elementary band performance.
After finishing the maps I got to enjoy an afternoon at Cafe Con Leche in Southwest Detroit.  To my delightful surprise the owners were setting up a band performance.  A band made up of elementary students in the area, from the exact schools we were just analyzing!  These kids excitedly played their music for a packed house.  And all of a sudden, work had a soul.  And a beat.  Detroit's future played a concert for me as I had worked towards stabilizing its future just hours prior.  We were practicing earlier that day together and didn't even know.

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