[vimeo vimeo.com/8201309 w=500&h=400] Finding useful stuff on the street is pure joy, like stumbling upon a pile of used books or a couch with hidden potential. Curb-mining becomes even better when you unknowingly get to be part of a good experiment.
Blu Dot decided to drop 25 Real Good chairs around the streets of New Yorks to see where they would end up. Hidden cameras and GPS enabled them to follow the reactions of people on the street upon seeing the chairs, filming the process from discovery, interest, inspection, to possession and then showing up at their door to ask them what they thought of the chair. PUNCOs to INCOs.
For several months now, the New York Times has been featuring the life stories of unique New Yorkers in the video collection One in 8 Million. From Alexandra Elman, the Blind Wine Taster, to Joel Karp, the Corner Druggist, these stories are anything but typical. They reflect the charm and character of the 'average' person on the street through first-person narratives and stunning black and white photographs.
This PBS interview with the producers of One in 8 Million gives added depth to the work behind the production.
The age-old concept and stopping to ask for directions has died off a bit, with the ubiquity of navigation devices. Kacie Kinzer's experiment with Tweenbot, a cute cardboard robot, reflects on the romantic notion of strangers helping strangers. Her experiment? Drop a robot, donned with a 'Help Me' sign, off on the northeast corner of Washington Square Park and see if New Yorkers will help it get to the southwest corner (as specified on the sign). It's just cute.