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An Exchange of Neighborhood Knowledge
by Manhattan's Residents


A project by Jack Toolin


The Quick Explanation

Manhattan Cache is:
- an interactive artwork
- a grass-roots characterization of neighborhood
- an opportunity to convey your experience of living in Manhattan through written and visual art
- a Geocache treasure hunt
- an artifact folksonomy

The Nitty Gritty

Manhattan Cache enlists the residents of Manhattan's twenty neighborhoods to personalize their neighborhoods through stories, artifacts, and visual documentation, contributing these characterizations to an archive via cache boxes located within the neighborhoods. Manhattan Cache was intitiated during the Conflux 2008 festival of locative and mobile media, taking place September 11 to the 14. This event provided a platform to introduce the project and begin building the community relationships needed to make the project a success. I am ramping up the event for mid-year 2009.


Participants are asked to locate the geocache box nearest to their residence and contribute an item representing their neighborhood. The contribution can be a written anecdote of a memorable experience, an artifact signifying something important about their neighborhood, or a document (photograph, drawing, sound recording) relating a memorable experience they had near home. Each geocache box will serve as the repository for two or three neighborhoods, so residents from these neighborhoods will be able to interact via items in their shared box (labeled bags separate items by neighborhood). Participants are requested to blog both about their contributed items and the items from adjoining neighborhoods that sparked interest for them. For those who are not blog savvy, a logbook will be kept within each geocache box for handwritten entries, and they will be placed into the appropriate blog.


Manhattan Cache is a community exchange made through geocache boxes placed along the borders of Manhattan's neighborhoods. Participants can opt to locate the cache boxes by using the GPS latitude and longitude coordinates and a GPS device, by decoding directions, or following a treasure map, all of which are located found on the blog page dedicated to that location. An online archive of the event will be created from participant contributions in blog form (each cache having its own blog), as well as photographic documentation of contributed items.

Help Out

This is an interactive art project that relies upon the participation of Manhattan's residents. Please contact me if you would like to contribute to making this project happen by being a cache box host (boxes will be placed in neighborhood businesses or organizations), or a project volunteer. Also, helping out by spreading the word about the project would be very appreciated - the more participation the more interesting the results will be.

The contributed artifacts will be photographically documented for archiving on the neighborhood blog. Please leave them in the cache boxes.


Find Cache Boxes


M.C. Neighborhood Blogs

Being Constructed


    Manhattan Cache © Jack Toolin 2009