sidewalk blogging

I took these pictures about a month ago, but thought of them again tonight. Someone on campus, “Nathan,” has started sidewalk blogging. This involves a “post” a day on a square of sidewalk in front of the library on campus, often detailing a small part of the day, something he enjoys, or some musings of some sort. It’s enjoyable to read. Today, I noticed that two other “bloggers” had joined him, discussing how they liked Nathan’s blog and wanted to blog as well. Sidewalk chalking has been around a long time (much longer than blogging), but it’s interesting to see how people are understanding older literacy activities in light of newer ones, and how older ones are changing because of newer ones. Sidewalk chalk has generally been used as activism, organizing, or graffiti. I suppose people have “journaled” or “diaried” via sidewalk chalk in the past, but I still find this interesting. You should be able to click on the images to see them larger.

Sidewalk Blog: March 23

Sidewalk Blog: March 23

Text: “Every once in a while I have to write papers. I like doing them, but they don’t leave much room for the rest of my life. Tonight, I’m going to watch a move instead of writing and acting 21. I’ll do it, though I know I’ll be conscious of regretting it tomorrow.”

Sidewalk Blogging: March 24

Sidewalk Blogging: March 24

Text: “It seems to me, sometimes, that I could change my whole world simply by changing the coffee shop I go to. What I mean is that if I were to alter my daily routine, I would suddenly disappear from the lives of people I count valuable friends. If I wanted to, the word I think, at times depends on my participation could vanish without a trace. At a school as large as PSU, you don’t have to see anyone.” (I think he meant “world” instead of “word.”)

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3 Responses to sidewalk blogging

  1. Kyle Bella says:

    This is a rather interesting idea. Though it is perhaps the least stable of journal forms. Chalk is easily washed away by rain. Of course, books can be lost and data on the internet or computer can be lost, but it seems less likely. I wonder how this reflects on the authors and their intent for this blogging.

  2. Michael says:

    Unlike many other literate activities, I don’t think there’s any pretenses for archiving or recording for posterity here. I think it’s completely ephemeral, which is one reason I love it. It’s like a conversation in the hallway, perhaps, or a phone call, or other communication technologies that require another technology (in this case, a camera) to record it to “remember” and archive it.

  3. meagan says:

    How delightful! If this were on my campus, I think I’d find a reason to walk past it every day. Thanks for sharing.

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