Landmarkings - Social Art Project




This is a group dedicated to documenting and mapping litter surrounding local and national landmarks.

When visiting a landmark we often overlook the peripheral space and interactions. By pointing one's camera down and away from the landmark we can begin to explore the traces left behind, creating a new experience altogether. By uploading the "data" to an online site, we can collectively document and catalog alternative experiences. In doing so we transform the landmark into a social space, comprehending the site beyond its purpose as a tourist attraction.

Would you like to participate? Visit a local landmark and mark the litter you find in chalk (using a circle, square, or triangle to denote the object's function). Take a picture of the object and pick it up to dispose of later. Keep a list to describe the objects photographed and later dispose of them at a proper garbage/recycling receptacle. Contribute to the documentation of these spaces by uploading your photos to our group. Please "geolocate" your findings to the best of your ability.

The chalk can be found at any number of local stores but if you would like I have assembled sets of all of the chalk colors for sale (at cost) on etsy.

Check out the Flickr site!

go to the Flickr "Landmarkings" group site

Thank you for participating!

Step 1: Marking the Litter

By going to a "landmark" in your city and circling the small bits of litter you give people a chance to re-encounter the smaller spaces they often overlook.

It starts with looking for anything you would call litter (maybe exclude cigarette butts since they are much, much too numerous and will take up all of your time). Here's Zoe in Millenuim Park - Chicago on the hunt for some good items:

When you find something MARK IT!!
There's three shapes that are nice and simple to surround the piece of litter in: Circle, Triangle, and Square
Make each of the shapes pertain to a different category of that object.

For example my friend Zoe chose:
CIRCLE - Litter associated with the body (food, tissues, a comb, etc)
SQUARE - Litter that conveys or represents information ((receipts, clothes tags, maps, etc)
TRIANGLE - Litter dealing with the material nature of the object (interesting peice of aluminum, a peice of yarn)

*BE CREATIVE - what do these objects convey to you within these categories?

Here's Zoe on the hunt!:
Burger King receipt

Step 2: Descriptions and Location

Write down (or remember) a brief description of what it was you found. This will be useful when your pictures get to Flickr because people can start to make connections between the litter and the places. Also try to remember WHERE you found it specifically for later as well. (I usually print out a closeup off GoogleMaps, quick n easy!

I've posted one of my note sheets above. It helps to go with a friend so they can take the notes while you have your hands full.

Collect the item after you shot your photo and got its description and place in a bag for later. Reused grocery bags are perfect for this. Dispose at the end of your collection session.

Step 3: Uploading

The crucial part of uploading your photos and experiences to Flickr is that it gives others a chance to share in the process and information. You can see what types of objects appear in various spaces and how they relate to each other in space, giving them their own location.

-Go to the "Landmarkings" Flickr group page

-Upload all your photos and title them with your short descriptions

-In the descriptions you can add any supplimentary information about your experience with that object or those in your past

-Tag the photo with the title (this allows searching of your image based on key words)



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    11 Discussions


    Hmmmmm..... it's strange to see the Bean so not-cluttered. Every time I'm by the Bean, it's packed to the brim. I guess a rainy day in Chicago keeps the curious tourists at bay.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    If you check it out before it rains, I had a buncha friends come out to Millennium Park yesterday and lay down a buncha shapes!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The Shapes were updated/finalized, body is circle. The project was in "Beta" when I put it up... thanks for checking the project out!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Pretty amazing. Makes people aware of the problem very effectively.

    I'm afraid I'm going to come off as sounding rude here, and I may well have missed the point of this project, but whatever happened to picking up some trash just because it was the right/nice thing to do? Why does it have to be a social project?

    3 replies

    Social projects help us feel part of the larger whole- social isolation interferes with our mental, emotional/spiritual and physical health. Our "community" is only as strong as our weakest member. Large commentary could be made on this topic these days...

    That actually makes some sense. Thank you. And it would seem I did indeed miss the point the first time around. Live and Learn.