Reading Response #4

I found the site Welcome to Pine Point to be quite moving. In terms of its content, it feels very accessible, like it’s not directed at any one person. It catalogues the experiences of individual residents, with intimate personal photographs, memories and recollections, but they are collaged in such a vast way that it creates an experience that is relatable to anyone. The sheer amount of material presented transcends the memories of any one former resident and instead becomes general commentary on nostalgia, longing and remembrance. It’s a very moving experience, and it can be poignant for anyone who misses home, who has observed their hometown change or outright erased from history.

I also like the immerse aspect of this project, it really helps that it’s not just a catalogue of photographs in a gallery and instead turns it into a true virtual scrapbook, it gives an intimate and handmade feeling to the project without the limitations of analog presentation. It’s cool that these vintage photographs which would just be collecting dust in a basement are now visible to the internet for anyone to see for as long as the site is up.

Attached is the Western Neighborhoods Project, another nostalgia-based web database of old photographs, videos, stories and more. This one is from my hometown of San Francisco, and is meant to fondly commemorate the history of the Sunset District, a neighborhood in the city that was established almost 100 years ago and has changed a lot in recent years due to gentrification and general urbanization of the Bay Area. It reminds me a lot of Welcome to Pine Point due to the emphasis on a longing for the past and a heavy use of archival photography in its storytelling, but after seeing Pine Point, I wish the site owners of Western Neighborhoods would transform it into a bit more of an immersive experience in a similar way to Pine Point given just how much material they have to work with.