Subjective map of Valadares

‘Subjective map of Valadares’ is a participative project and was created in the networking way of working. Valadares is a rural district of galician city of Vigo in Spain. I was invited to be an artist-in-residence in alg-a lab which is placed in this district.

‘Subjective map of Valadares’ is a project about sharing memories for better understanding the places, about working with collective memory, about collaborative discovering invisible layers of city and about co-reconstruction of places in our minds by activating dynamic points.
Working on the project, I was collaborating in a daily manner with Banco do Tempo de Valadares and many people from this district who I met on the streets – each day expanding network of our creative community around Valadares.

Many meetings, hours of conversations and collaborative walks were done during this process. I’m deeply fascinated with memory of the places and relationships between collective memory and participative way of working and constructing a city. In my projects, I focus around architecture and public space issues and its deep relation with human being. I´m inspired by psychogeography, collective inteligence aspect of construction a city, flanerie mode of exploring / discovering / understanding a city and Richard Long’s recording of walks.

We started working on ‘Subjective map of Valadares’ with defining the word ‘map’. Each space become alive with the first step of the first human being and then turns into a place. By place I understand the meaning of the dynamic point / area of the map. In the project, we were following this way of thinking.

The project´s final result is a website with interactive map which serves as a daily-life archive. Project has 78 cards. Each card has sound file, photo and text. Sound files are recorded in galician or spanish language (participants were talking in that language, as it is more comfortable to them). All sound files are translated into several european languages to widen access to it.
There are two types of the places marked on the website. One group is marked on the map (red small squares) and the second one is marked on the left side (small rectangles in different colors). Each color is related with thematic group. Thematic groups were not sugested at the beginning and were co-proposed during the process. All networking working process was open and not fixed until the end.

I think that co-reconstruction of memory of the city is an alternative way of building the city. Having invisible histories gathered together, we better understand the city and we are able to co-rethink the future. Even though we did not build anything physical, we co-rebuilt the forgotten fragments of the city. Simply activating and reviving the lost places in our newly created network, we started to co-discover / co-build the image of Valadares.

Interior architect by Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, Poland. Mobile and temporary architecture, innovative approaches to urbanism, interactive installations, subjective mapping of cities, non-existent elements of public space and participative processes are in the centre of her work and research.
She was invited for several projects e.g. in Berlin, Leipzig, Firenze, Vigo, Valencia or Barcelona. She received several awards in contests organized e.g. by AFH Chicago, OFFA Poland or Knauf Group.
www.ruchlewicz-dzianach.eu