Songs for Rent: Emotional Cartography

By Dario Ré

The proliferation of post-industrial gentrification in Pointe-Saint-Charles has transformed once-affordable rental housing into condo homes, displacing memories embedded in space and thus, as Steve Pile suggests in Temporalities, Autobiography and Everyday Life, “narratives of the self.” He argues these narratives are “more than just ‘situated’ in the sense of having a particular, unique time and place.” They are “inherently spatial [and] spatially constituted. Stories of the self are ‘produced’ out of the spatialities that seemingly only provide the backdrop for those stories ourselves.”1

Songs for Rent - Emotional Cartography

In Songs for Rent: Emotional Cartography, I am exploring my family’s spatial narrative through a materialization of original songs that embody the places we’ve lived. Our three-year old boy has lived in nine different homes back and forth across Eastern Canada and Western United States. This has subsequently fragmented his relationship to place. In an effort to address this fragmentation, which is increasingly common in our society of modern transience, I have mapped a series of songs that relate to home, landscape and community—a personal narrative within an emotional geography.

1 Pile, S. “Memory and The City.” In J. Campbell and J. Harbord (eds) Temporalities, Autobiography and Everyday Life, Manchester, Manchester Uniuversity Press, 2002. Pg. 111-112.