Moon Over Pilsen Copyright Elaine Luther

Moon Over Pilsen Copyright Elaine Luther

Hole in Fence Pilsen by Elaine Luther

Hole in Fence Pilsen copyright Elaine Luther 2014

Green Door Pilsen by Elaine Luther

Green Door Pilsen copyright Elaine Luther 2014

Here are a few pictures from our second “drift” or wander through Pilsen, directed by the app Drift. The app had us going in circles and on busy roads.  Bad app!  Send me to the side streets.

The one of the green door, the app told us to go to the next stop sign, turn right and take a picture of the nearest door.  The nearest door was unbearably boring.  This one was across the street.  I took a picture of this one.

When we go on drifts, I am the slow one, taking lots of pictures, holding up the group.  Now I know how my husband, the photographer, feels.  “Come on, come on,” everyone says, and meanwhile a picture is calling to you to be taken.

Lately, this idea of neighborhoods and the history of where you’ve lived keeps coming up, all over the place.  Perhaps this is not that odd, since Chicago is a city of neighborhoods.  Other cities are not like this?

Waves of immigration define the city and immigrants settle together.  It’s possible to settle in your neighborhood and stay there, shop, live, work, and never need to speak English.  This is true across the city for a number of different native languages.

For the past two years, I’ve worked in Chinatown as part of the 20Neighborhoods project of Woman Made Gallery.  Now I’m part of Pilsen Derive, a collaborative project involving maps, history and photos of the Pilsen neighborhood, where I used to live.

The first thing we did at Pilsen Derive was draw a map of all the houses/apartments we’d ever lived in.  Mine took three large pages.  I checked with my parents later, I’d forgotten a few houses.  Three, I think.

Friday night I was at an art opening and Nicole Hollander was there, doing a demo.  Her graphic memoir in progress was up on the wall and what was there, but a photo of the apartment building she lived in as a child.

Place, home, neighborhood.  I’m open to exploring these more in my art.  That seems to be the message I’m getting!


For more about Pilsen Derive, please see a recent post.  Want to see all my pictures from this drift? They’re on Flickr, my user is CreativeTextureTools.  If  you can’t find it, let me know.