Conflux: Experience of a Place

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I have always believed in the experience of a place. When you visit a city, you not only go to its historic monuments and nightlife hotspots but also walk among ordinary people who go about their daily lives. Being a innocent bystander caught in the hustle bustle of city life is as voyueristic you can get without feeling too bad.

The annual NYC festival for contemporary psychogeography (what a delightful word!) – Conflux Festival – is currently underway in Brooklyn, NYC. It runs through until September 17th. The festival “brings together mapmakers, urban adventures, and performers to investigate the physical and psychological landscapes of cities [via].”

The list of projects seem quite interesting. The 24 hour roadtrip through the 5 boroughs of New York City would be a big draw for all those enamoured to take bite off the  Big Apple. Avenue 5.5 will aim to take you from 37th Street to Rockefeller Center without even setting foot on an actual Manhattan avenue:

An escape route, a municipal wormhole, a slow-motion space
mountain…Avenue 5.5 is an alternative walking tour that maps a unique
path through a variety of interior and exterior public spaces that
connect certain New York City blocks. This architectural tunnel
includes spaces such as arcades, atriums, parks and parking lots. As a
concept this project deals primarily with the idea of autonomous
exploration and the potential for a person to chart one’s own path
through the city thereby creating a sense of familiarity and ownership,
or in other words a type of ritual that creates an emotional connection
to the grid unique from conventional “sidewalk subsistence”.

The very fact that this is possible makes New York so damn exciting. Borough Edges will take you along the actual accessible perimeters of the five boroughs of New York City. For a city that has a long coastline, we don’t see much of it either in its lifestyle or in its manifestation. City Sample takes a cue from Stomp and attempts to transform urban noises into music. If these don’t excite you enough, then you must venture out into the night for a wild chase. Journey to the End of the Night stages a mock chase using your two feet and public transportation as you flee unknown pursuers. Geeks can think of this as a real-life video game.

These are just few of the examples. For an entire list of projects that would keep you busy throughout the days of the festival, visit their project page.

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