Response to “Welcome to Pine Point”

This interactive piece of creative nonfiction takes viewers back into the narrator’s home town, Pine Point – or what is left of it, that is. Pine Point was a community built for the mines, a single-industry town surviving only as long as the mines were open – from the 60’s to late 80’s.

The page-by-page digital experience reminded me of a photo-album, which I believe was a very intentional move of the Goggles (the two creators). The project was originally intended to be a book – the decision to change mediums was due to a findings on the website called “Pine Point Revisited” that captured old pictures of the town and all the good kodac-moment times the residents had, not suspect to their home’s eventual fate. The digital experience the Goggles create seems to put a smart distance between viewer and town, not recreating it perfectly, but piecing it together with memories, pictures, and videos. This seems to me to be the most honest interpretation possible for attempting to remember something that is no longer tangible.

The opening question – “Imagine your hometown never changed… Would it be so bad?” is a recurring theme throughout the project. The Goggles seem to be arguing that because the town did not age or undergo negative transformations like other towns, it is untainted and everlasting. Untainted and everlasting much like the photos discovered on the website and the nostalgic images and yearbook bits comprising the pages. I think that the project as a whole has a lot to say about the nature of memory as something inconsistent but pure, honest but also somehow extremely skewed. It forces me to think about how people use art to try to recreate life as accurately as possible, and yet the creation can only be as accurate as it is remembered or rendered at random points in time. The great thing about this work is that it acknowledges this fallacy and revisits Pine Point from a distanced and highly filtered perspective. This tactic does justice to what was lost as well as to what is left, both physically and in our fickle memories.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. maxufberg says:

    This was probably my favorite thing I’ve seen in class, and I totally agree with your evaluation. It raises these really interesting questions, namely: Is it better to idealize the past? The aesthetics of the site were really cool too. I think the documentary is, like you said, “the most honest interpretation possible for attempting to remember something that is no longer tangible.”

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