Curating for Immersion

Since the beginning of this course, my ongoing examination of the cultural and environmental ecology of Jackson Heights has reached a plateau of sorts. I feel that, after the initial experiences and getting to know the neighborhood thoroughly, my continuous visits are starting to feel stale and uninspired. I find myself struggling to search for signs that would indicate a state of precarity, and I realized that I may be actively imposing negative connotations to my observations for the sake of satisfying the theme of my project.

In my last blog post I talked about the duality of Jackson Heights, its attraction in the form of a hyperdiversified, concentrated, and affordable neighborhood with a variety of ethnic food spots, and its contrasting reputation of a troubled area with a relatively high propensity of crime and social instability. I have come to understand that the vast majority of the area’s inhabitants, including visitors and locals, are most likely not aware of, or don’t have the time and effort to give attention to, statistical trends and informational reports. I myself think that it is indeed very difficult to visit Jackson Heights and come out of it with an unpleasant experience.


So far in my portrayal of this ecology on my website through image, text, and audio, I have been trying to convey an affect of disorganization, uncertainty, and volatility. In the following weeks I will work on improving the overall effectiveness of this narrative through editing photos, mixing audio, and documenting through video. I aim to curate the content on my site to create an immersive experience for my audience, where my intentions would be clear as soon as they begin to navigate the site.

I’m still in the process of brainstorming for my home page, though I would most likely use visuallly appealing images, such as pictures of food and colorful architecture, to draw viewers in, then reveal through other forms of multimedia the underlying precarity the area holds. I recently adjusted the color scheme of my website to make it match the dominant colors present in the space. I also want my site to resemble my ecology in a way that reflects its aesthetic and distinct features. Perhaps I can create an interactive map of all the different ethnic backdrops that participate in the cultural disposition of Jackson Heights, and show how they relate to each other.

I also plan to have hyperlinks scattered around my web pages that would probably link to elaborations on different aspects of the neighborhood, as well as some short video clips. I wish to integrate visual and audio elements that would mimic the experience of physical being at the space, with distractions and sensual stimuli everywhere. I have yet to have the chance of exploring the area during night time, so I may plan my next visit accordingly to hopefully discover a new facet or potential idea to enhance the effectiveness of my project. I found the following video which I think displays another side of Jackson Heights worth investigating.


~ by alanshen21 on March 28, 2018.

One Response to “Curating for Immersion”

  1. This is the blog post I would like to read, as the writer touches on something that I think we all suffer from, the determination to cast a negative light on whatever site we are researching, which makes the project suffer from bias. The writer also does a good job of detailing the changes he wants to apply to his project, with the video detailing another side to the site he could explore.

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