A public art project lets people map where they've felt pain (often freeways) and joy (the Mississippi River).
If you could record your emotional highs and lows on an actual map, where would most of your joy be concentrated? How about sadness or anger?
A new public art project by Rebecca Krinke is giving people the chance to mark the locations of remembered moments of pleasure or pain -- with gold or gray, respectively -- on a map of Minneapolis, which she brings to different city parks for several hours on set days. So far, everyone who stops by seems to adore the Mississippi River and loathe freeways, said Krinke, an associate landscape architecture prof at the University of Minnesota.
"The whole length of the river got covered in gold, and the city lakes, too," she said. "But the spot where 394 meets 94 is very gray." Places that get both golds and grays -- often from the same person -- are hospitals, the person's own home, even restaurants: "It's my favorite, but so-and-so broke up with me there."
For some passersby, the emoti-map seems to be a catalyst for emotional release. One young man started to break down, realizing he had moved so many times in his life. Another marked the scene of an auto accident and took off his shirt to show his scar.
One of the aspects of mapping that appeals to Krinke most is the layer of privacy it affords, because it doesn't have to be verbal -- yet most people think out loud, even though they're not being asked to. "People say they just want to look, but most everyone starts to map," she said.
The traveling map's next stops will be 3-7 p.m. Saturday at Gluek Park and 3-7 p.m. Aug. 6 at Minnehaha Park, as well as at the U of M building during the State Fair. See www.rebeccakrinke.com for more info.