Shannon told me at the beginning stages of this project that it’s OK for me to work with what’s available. In my case, that meant focusing on public art projects from Creative Time since NYU has their archive in Fales Special Collections. My trip to the archive last week really helped me solidify which projects I want to include on my map–simply by which projects had materials in the archive.

First of all, I really enjoyed my visit to Fales. I had the same thought over and over again: Wow! Not everything is on the Internet! And I was glad that I quickly got permission to use my huge DSLR that I brought with me. That meant I didn’t need to transcribe every interview and press release I found.

I was surprised by how some projects had a huge bounty of material and some just had a single photograph. My project revolves around public art projects that create cinematic experience for New Yorkers by using a development in film as their medium. Some Creative Time didn’t really seem to fit my topic, but once I saw photos of what they were actually like I realized that they fit it perfectly. That was the case for 1978’s “Downtown Drive-In.” There was the most material for “Masstransiscope”–which was the inspiration for my topic–so that one remains on my radar. I was able to get much more insight into the project through interviews and an unpublished “Talk of the Town” piece for The New Yorker. I was disappointed that there was only one photo of “Light Site-ings” because I was really hoping to learn more (especially about the newspaper that was created for the project!), but I still plan on including it in my map.

After going to Fales, I decided I still really want to include Janet Cardiff’s “Her Long Black Hair” in my map even though it’s not a Creative Time project. I had emailed the Public Art Fund about accessing their archives but never heard anything back. I finally called them and guess what. They recently gave their archive to Fales. Looks like I’ll be heading back!

The limit of using what is available let me be more creative about my topic. Once I narrowed down the public art projects to those that interested me and those I found material (or can potentially find material) for I realized that I could represent at least five revelations in film. That has got me pretty excited.