I’m going to map love stories in Ottawa. I’ve been looking through newspaper archives to find sources in the personals/local news stories. It hasn’t been as straight forward as I imagined - - a lot of the “love stories” are about films or celebrities, and have nothing to do with Ottawa or local people. I found a recent article from the Ottawa Sun about a husband and wife, “inseparable for 51 years,” who died hours apart from each other. What’s interesting about this article is that it tracks places they liked to go, the church they went to, where the met, and lived as a way to tell their story. I couldn’t work on musicalgorithms to test out the sonification of these coordinates because I had no wifi all of last week, but I’ve created a path and plan on working on the sound aspect today as a test for what I could potentially do.

As for getting stories, I was thinking of continuing my search on for today, and if nothing comes up, I might do a call-out for “Ottawa love stories,” past and present. Timewise, I don’t know how many “stories” I would be able to incorporate this way, as it would involve coordinating and chatting with people, which isn’t always easy. But I do like the idea. The main problem I foresee is not having enough time to make the map - - as I have to gather the stories before planning the path.

I like the idea of having multiple stories on one map, with no overtly clear visual differentiation between them. But then, as you walk along and listen to the sonification of the coordinates, you would be able to tell that there are different feelings or stories happening, and which ones are linked. In her statement for her embroidered maps, Bettina Matzkuhn writes:

“I am interested in maps as vehicles for narrative. The maps I have created describe personal or imaginary journeys. A map is always an edited version of a story, always subject to revision, always open to interpretation, often tempted by exaggeration. Fine detail and embellishment are the territory of both cartography and embroidery.”

I love her maps for the narratives they tell, and I would love to work along the same lines, creating a tactile visual narrative that is both different but linked to the digital sonified narrative. In fact, you would be witnessing different stories if you look just at the map, or listening just to the sound, or using both together.

Written on March 1, 2018