Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mobile App and Historical Gazes

Baseball players, north of Barge Hall
The students have continued to develop content for our Explore Central mobile app.  We were kindly given permission to include Jackie O’Ryan and RIck Spencer’s excellent video of Javier Cavazos performing his slam poem, “History 101: Mt. Stewart” atop Lion Rock on Table Mountain, north of town. Clicking on the yellow “poetry” button on Table mountain now brings up the video of Javier’s striking performance.   We hope this inspires students in the coming quarters to create audio and video recordings of new poems, linked to specific locales in town and in the county.

The 31 sites on the Historic Ellensburg walking tour of downtown architectural history are now uploaded, with distinctive “Architecture”  pins for each at the correct location.  Brittany, in turn, wrote captions for 34 historical photographs of Ellensburg in the university archives and linked each image to a specific location on the GoogleMap; these images are now uploaded to the app. Since the downtown map was getting crowded with “History” pins, we create a new color-code “Historical Photographs” pins for these images, which we hope will simplify navigation. We’re hoping that future classes will develop audio commentaries to go with the old photographs, perhaps critically unpacking the composition of the images, reflecting on shifts in the ‘habitus” (including how bodies occupied public space), or even creating audio skits, imagining conversations that might have taken place during these scenes.

I’m fascinated, for example, by the stances of the students on the college lawn in this image, taken just north of Barge Hall, the college’s oldest building. How different are the stances of the catcher, batter,  fielder,  pitcher and runner at first base from present-day college baseball players? Just what is the fellow doing in the left foreground, stretched out on the ground near what seems to be third base?  iI he acting out sliding into third for the camera? And what is the man in the hat doing to his right, bending over? And why are four apparent players stretched out on the ground between what appears to be third and home?  Are any of these little mysteries recoverable from the thin evidence presented by the image itself?

No comments:

Post a Comment