Creating Networks as an Alternative Imagining of a Collective Memory
Landscapes and buildings are tangible witnesses to societal evolutions through the ages. The way a community experiences these can be gleaned, for instance, from its collective memory, in which landscapes and buildings feature. The present paper introduces the use of networks to trace and visualise these special relations and connections between tangible spatial entities on the one hand and societal evolutions and historical facts on the other. This research project started from two hypotheses. One hypothesis views the network as an instrument that allows us to enter physically into a community’s collective memory. The second hypothesis states that these networks can be developed as spaces. Two cases were formulated: Forges de Clabecq, an obsolete industrial site east of Brussels, and the Meirebeek Valley, a landscape west of Ghent. Research of source material and interviews yielded data suitable for network mapping. Using the appropriate software, these networks could be subjected to various interventions and presented in a number of different forms of representation. Open Ord networks, Radial networks, Concentric networks en Isometric networks were some of the formats we used. These visualisations resulted in reflection on the subject of collective memory, two hypotheses, spatial imaginings and finally some points of criticism.