NYC at Its Core: Reflection

This exhibition painted an intriguing image New York City. Walking into “New York City at Its Core” I immediately thought “this is about new york.” The first aspect of the exhibit I was drawn to, and which I stayed at for most of my time in the room, was the wall with the TV on it immediately to the left as you walk in. It was easy to tell what it was just from watching for a few seconds. Video of people of all different ages, races and genders talking about New York. The videos were each taking up about 10 percent of the monitor, one at a time. Each time an interview with one person cut, a new one popped up in a new location on the screen. I feel like this added a sporadic element to the presentation of the material, emphasising the diversity of thought being expressed in the interviews. These people are the public, and they are sharing their thoughts on New York’s past, where they think it’s going, and what that means to them. I don’t know, I just liked this one a lot because it’s reminiscent of just sitting down and listening to a stranger’s story. I think it also did a good job of instilling a feeling of community in the viewer.

 

After I realized that this video was probably was not going to end, I got up to look around the rest of the exhibit. I saw some other people jumping around in front of the floor to ceiling screen. This part of the exhibit was more interactive. You could stand in front of this screen, and it would superimpose you into this futuristic New York City scene. I thought it was kind of cool, but I didn’t completely understand it. I think visitors personalized aspects of the scene but I’m not sure. Overall I liked how it is a positive way of looking at sustainability. Like it was talked about in the Vox video on climate change, if we talk about climate change trying to make people feel guilty, it will not encourage people to engage with the issues at hand.

 

I think that the “official” question posed by the Exhibition was “What made New York New York?” But from what I saw, the question posed in the exhibition was more like: “What does the future and the past of New York City look like, and what is our place in all of it?” To paraphrase one of the people interviewed, this city was here before all of us, and it will be here for a while after. I think that is one thing to consider. Not to say that we don’t matter to New York, because we do. New york would be nothing without the people who live here. And not just the people who have lived here for 10 years… New York is tourists, and college freshman who haven’t been here for a year yet, and people all over who haven’t even been here but plan on it! But the city is kind of paradoxical in that way… it couldn’t exist without us, but it will be fine without us when we’re gone.

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