MyBlockNYC.com to Be Featured in Talk to Me Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art
NEW YORK — (BUSINESS WIRE) — July 12, 2011 — MyBlockNYC.com, the first video mapping website that allows users to share and explore personal video accounts of life in New York City, launches online today with an upcoming installation in The Museum of Modern Art exhibition Talk To Me: Design and Communication Between People and Objects from July 24-November 7, 2011.
Co-founded by native New Yorker’s Alex Kalman (of Red Bucket Films) and Alex Rickard, MyBlockNYC unleashes the creative potential of New York City residents and visitors as street filmmakers.
The MyBlockNYC installation at MoMA is a 40-inch touch screen kiosk. Visitors to the exhibit can touch the map to watch videos and step outside the museum to capture real-life street moments and upload them to the map. All videos that are uploaded to MyBlockNYC will be viewable from within the exhibition. Talk To Me, organized by Senior Design Curator Paola Antonelli, explores how technology is redefining the ever-evolving relationship between people and objects.
“We wanted to create a way for every person, no matter where they live, to be able to have the experience of walking down the street in New York City from the human perspective rather than the satellite perspective,” Kalman says.
The unique search engine capabilities of MyBlockNYC are central to the core mission of the site. Videos are uploaded block by block to create an interactive map of the five boroughs. Each block tells its own story, allowing the public anywhere in the world the ability to explore New York City. “The city is a complex and intricate web,” Rickard says. “Through the collection of diverse perspectives, viewpoints and cultural histories, people can truly understand and explore New York.”
Users can filter the map according to information about both the filmmaker—age, gender, local or tourist—and the video material—time of day, season and topic—and explore the city in dynamic and informative ways. For example, search for Crime in the Winter at Night from the perspective of a Tourist. Or search for Music and Art filmed by Local New Yorkers in their Teens and see what borough and block you land on.
MyBlockNYC is launching with videos made by a hand-picked mix of creative site users chosen for their original take on NYC culture and enthusiasm for street filmmaking. These first-generation users include Charlie Ahearn, Cliffy Barz, Joey Boots, Cheryl Dunn, Jimmy Justice, Isaac Mizrahi, Opie from Opie & Anthony, Jamel Shabazz, and Josh and Benny Safdie.
The site also premieres videos made by over 150 New York City public school students who participated in the pilot MyBlock Video Education Program. Working with the Department of Education, MyBlockNYC a camera-lending program and a pocketsize Field Guide to Street Filmmaking for each student in the participating schools, as well as a lesson plan for teachers. The program is on track to expand into 45 additional schools in academic year 2011-2012.