Normally I’d argue against inserting the self into academic research, but I think in some cases it’s necessary. In the case of this project, the method of gathering data was fundamental to the framework of the resulting mapped networks, and I believe gives an important context to arguments the data makes.
The dialogue and spacial locations that frame this project, can be viewed in the larger framework of my own personal space within East Harlem. Gathering data, and reading murals in the community began with references from Martha Cooper and Joseph Sciorra's book, RIP: Memorial Wall Art, to provide anchor points of former mural sites.
But in order to collect data to map, I literally walked the cartographic space that my arguments take place in. Murals that were mapped happened to be in my path, or were alluded to by somebody who crossed my path.The insertion of my own cartographic space into this project, therefore warrents more than simply a footnote, but a larger spatial framework in order to understand the nature of arguments being made.
My first walk began at 116th street and Lexington, as I walked towards Second and Third avenues to find the adresses of murals that had existed in 1994. Although these murals no longer exist, several were found in their paths.
Futher research took me to the south end of El Barrio, to look at "Dos Alas" and "The Spirit of East Harlem. This path took me to several murals by Manny Vega, and led me to meet Edwin Perez who directed me to 106th St. and Park ave, which is where my third walk took me.
Of course, the data collected only offers a small glimpse and framework into something that could expand to fit a larger scope of the neighborhood. The data is by no means a comprehensive list of all mural sin East Harlem, but is a data set gathered from "walking the map" so to speak, and a path that unfolded organically and through the direction of the community.