created a cache on geocaching.com that leads this
cyber-community into the real-world communities of South Central.
Hopefully the projects helps a little in the economic sustainability
of Leimert Park.
invite you to come with us on this geocaching tour to Leimert
Park. On Sunday, the 13th of October we meet 9am at the Annenberg
Center for Communication, 734 West Adams Boulevard. The walk
will take app. 3 hours, it is around 4.4 miles. We will help
provide return transportation. Please RSVP email@example.com
Using several technologies created by the pentagon, Geocache
players log onto a website and find the specific locations of
caches. The Global Positioning System is a military-run location-finding
system that uses satellites to precisely map a grid. With exact
latitudinal and longitudinal information, the players leave
their homes guided by a GPS device that leads them directly
to hidden prizes. Most of the sites are hidden in reserves-
lands barren of residential streets, homes and most importantly
human eyes. Many
reports on the sport talk about its inception with the Clinton
Administrations easing of restrictions on civilian uses of GPS
do geocachers navigate through space?
With the help of satellites and hand-held GPS indicators, real
landscapes have become virtual. Hillsides become terrains to
navigate; cities become videogame ghost towns to sneak through;
players become soldiers seeking a target. In
urban areas, geocachers are shy to meet other people. They look
for terrains to be without conflicts, they treasure the one-to-one
challenge of finding the cache with their GPS and their wits.
Everything else is a distraction. ["...The place was
deserted, as least looked deserted. The cache was well hidden
and clues were right on. Took American flag pin and left lantern
keychain"] Since they move through spaces not guided
by the routine of a resident or the derive of the hiker, their
movements are always suspect. It is the technology that excuses
their aberrant behavior.
project invites geocachers to proactively step out from the
cyber-realm into the charged terrain of racial politics. In
finding this cache, players navigate both the usual external
terrain and the mental inner space that surfaces when confronting
cultural difference. Our cache is in Leimert Park- a middle
class African American neighborhood. The storefronts feature
Afrocentric art institutions, one of the keys to the neighborhood’s
blossoming was a gallery that displayed contemporary black artists
known to the international art scene. Neighborhood residents
are integrated into the greater economy of the LA Basin, while
also proudly creating Leimert’s specific culture. Perhaps,
geocachers who stumble into this neighborhood will reflect on
the ways in which their own communities reveal themselves.
geocachers in Leimert Park?
Asadullah Samad says, “The
merchants go about their way of making daily culture real in
a city that celebrates culture by the calendar, not by the birthright”.
The interface with the culture
of Leimert Park is its markets, galleries, and restaurants.
These institutions invite access, interaction and exchange.
Perhaps then, besides bringing in the sign of the stranger to
the community, geocachers will exchange cash for goods - facilitating
the maintenance and growth of the town."
monetary exchange is important in this “post-civil rights”
community. Leimert Park’s affluence and apparent stability
are a surprise to those who assume that any place south of the
10 Freeway is a gang riddled drug land. Its uniqueness in the
southern LA manifests the regions limited access to capital-
all of South Central could look like this if there was the money
and the will. It is interesting that there are so few geocaches
in the South of the 10. As much as it speaks of the fear of
those living north of the 10, it also speaks of the cultural
difference and questions of economic access by residents living
South of the 10.