Farewell, Friend: a Survey of Space and Memory, Madison Heights, MI
The more surveys I perform and groups I work with, the more I have been able to understand what direction I most want to steer this project in and how to really connect with people, because although this is a multifaceted endeavor, one truly important aspect is connecting with communit(y)(ies). w|edge is primarily interested in people's relationship with their environments, but I've come to understand that a main part of that relationship is intermingled with family, space, time and memory.
A long time dear friend, Janice, is preparing to move to Illinois to begin studying to be a Naturopathic Doctor - a dream/goal she has been focused on and driven toward for most of the years I have known her. This event, a gathering of friends to wish her well on her move, in cooperation with w|edge, was highlighted by focusing on the memories Janice has made in her backyard over the 7 years that her family has lived there. Instead of the group working collaboratively to choose the stake locations, Janice choose each spot based on recollections she has there - sharing stories of those reminices with our group. We then worked collaboratively to tape and measure the stakes and send Janice off with drawings, memories, well wishes and advice on her new life venture, while also completing the other typical aspects of w|edge - social surveys, test tube take -aways and tool exploration. This was the most meaningful survey on the docket yet; as one participant described, it was cathartic.