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Manhattan Cache: Sharing Neigborhood Knowledge

From Here to There - Scott

Project Description

Manhattan Cache was accepted for the 2008 iteration of the Conflux Festival in New York City, which was held just weeks after I moved to New York from California. Conflux was a 3-day festival for location-based art (urban games, locative media, navigational performance, and so on). Manhattan Cache asked residents of different NYC neighborhoods to contribute personal expressions about living in New York, and this could have been in the form of a poem, a drawing, trinket ... items that expressed their exprience of city life.

The project was a great idea, with brilliant intentions, that had too little time and support to be fully realized. But I love the project, and perhaps the notion alone, like a Fluxus instruction, inspires its completion, psychically if nothing else.

This is a photograph of cache box.
Cache Box

I printed cards and flyers to promote the project and request contributions. In order to receive the items, I made seven caches - small treasure chests - and located them in local stores and cafes in various Manhattan neighborhoods. The project was also listed on the festival website. I invested quite a lot of effort into assembling project elements, contacting neighborhood leaders, and distributing the project pieces.

The cache box 'artefacts' were to be displayed with annotations - an informal archeological exhibit - that could provide personal insights into city living, along with the pleasure of sharing creative expressions. The concept of using cache boxe contributions stems from my 2005 project, Perfect View, for which I visited thirty 'sublime sites' recommended by Geocache hobbyists. The sites were located all over the U.S., and found by using GPS coordinates during a 13,000 mile motorcycle trip.

Two of the businesses that hosted the cache boxes for the project's duration.

Photograph of the Economy Candy store in the Lower East side of New York City. Photograph of an Italian pastry shop in the East Village of New York City.
The site also had a lengthier explanation that provided background, context, and a sense of the project goals.
Images of Scott's office.
Screenshot of the Manhattan Cache homepage.

Ultimately, the narrow performance window (preperation time and festival duration) meant that no contributions to the project were made. Still, I feel that the project has significance, conceptually, at least, and could be successful in a more conduscive situation.