Projects 2010 > I heart my city > Journal
Over the last couple of weeks our project has been discussed with a number of people, through this I have become acutely aware that right now it's wide open to misinterpretation. It's a classic thing, almost in the sense of the artist who creates a work with a particular message to communicate but viewers bring their own preconceptions and biases along when they look at it and skew the original vision for themselves.
Our proposal says we will be using "happiness performance indicators" or in simpler terms - visual indications of things the council does for you. Happiness is a very zeitgeisty area of investigation - the LSE are doing it with their mappiness project, Bristol's got it's own happy city initiative and there has been a fair amount of investigation and instigation of it over the years at the Sandbox too - Happy Packages and BDH's Happy Town have dealt with it in different ways.
Whilst our project touches on aspects of what makes people happy, it's really about taking those established elements, making them visible and seeking the opinions of people who are affected by them. In fact the happiness term is colloquial for "I approve" or "I am satisfied". I do not find 'approve' or 'satisfied' to be the right kind of language, whereas happy works much better. It appears it will be useful to test to make sure we hit the right tone, don't confuse people and get the right responses.
It's important to reference and acknowledge the existence of the body of work that has both gone before and going on now, but we could easily end up investigating blind alleys if we are don't clarify the intention right now.