A collective ‘blink’ archive development via mashups of various documentation methods with media-mapping using mobile technologies on web 2.0.x. 2008-present


BroadwayDreams was started as a study of small businesses (99c shops, etc.) scattering through Broadway, Brooklyn. Being aware that Broadway continues through Manhattan and Yonkers, further branches into Queens, the plan is to continue its investigation through the “spine” of the islands, and expand its focus on general businesses (shops and eateries) and their consumers.

Participants are encouraged to document and upload small video clips, photos, and/or audio files, with using various small media capturing devices (digital camera’s photo/movie modes, mobile phones, and/or digital audio recorders, etc.)

With either built-in GPS, external GPS data logger, &/or manual ‘address’ documentation, geocoded media files will populate on maps which can be grabbed, mashed, and reused by people who would encounter them in later days, to form various lives, experiences, and landscapes.

The project is also aiming to compile as many ‘blinks’ as possible. As we all know, eyes can blink but ears don’t. Photos are considered to be blinks of visual memory. Then, why don’t we pretend as if ears do blink too? (although it is not a requirement. You can determine the length of your blinks freely as long as it would load fairly fast online.) Broadway will be filled up with collective ‘blinks’ including aural moments.

“Why ‘blinks’?” (explanatory)

I call it ‘blinks documentation’ which is… I assume a good strategy to work on ‘BroadwayDreams’ project. ‘Blinks’ are brief moments - flash of memories. One of each ‘blink’ may not impose any meaning when you see/hear it (e.g. when you’d encounter one of the ‘blinks documentations’ on YouTube or Flickr video, you’d probably react like… “FTFK?!?” - because you have no idea why it’s so brief.) However, when you’d pull bunch of blinks with the term ‘broadwaydreams’ and make them as playlist, for instance, some amazing number of ‘blinks’ will emerge. (Of course, a few normal-length uploads may mix in there - those which happened to use the same tag. But the majority are ‘blinks’. It’s good to use a common unique tag for this case, and add more tags depending on what you captured: such as… 99c, baloonguy, cheapdeal, etc.)

Any preferred destination (by you) is fine for uploads, however, if you’d like them to be mashed into a map, it’s easiest to do it with YouTube &/or Flickr (Flickr video permits up to 90 sec., but somehow ‘too short’ movies less than 1 sec. won’t load. Very strange;)
Tagging each one of them might become so troublesome… but if you’d do it a few or so per week, and if there are hundreds of people contribute their tiny blinks, it would eventually surface as if ‘memory milkyway’. It is, indeed, a very sneaky long-term mob project.

In its early development, is in preparation as a common web-tool development wiki/forum space. It will be a space where people can upload their mash-up programs (e.g. Yahoo Pipes, as an easiest online tool to provide for free), exchange ideas, and media uploads announcements.

Notes for Williams Burroughs – Dead Fingers Talk exhibition 2010:

For this particular exhibit, I selected 428 small movie clips I shot with digital cameras documenting blinks of Broadway in Brooklyn, NY. Most of them are a second or less in duration except 3 or 4 files much longer than the rest. Ideally, they are played back on iTunes-like software in playlist with the shuffle-mode, however, no computers available in the present would be able to playback without the slight pauses in between for loading. Accordingly, I made 16 versions of simulation (in randomized orders) resembling the shuffle mode without pauses.

I made different versions available for the curator to decide how they would present the work. It can be played back: 1) individually on separate computer monitors; 2) individually on iPhone-like small devices that can play m4v format; 3) as a 16-in-1 movie file on one computer fast enough to handle the file. As said above, the edits of the 16 files are mere examples of simulations. All the files are available on YouTube and Vimeo although they are in low resolutions.

You are more than welcome to document and add more ‘blinks.’ If you’re going to create and share any files (associated with any Broadway in the world) in the future, please include a tag ‘broadwaydreams’ for your uploads.

o.blaat (Keiko Uenishi), May 2010

Quotes from Burroughs in 1965 interview by Conrad Knickerbocker for The Art of Fiction No. 36 (

- Cut-ups establish new connections between images, and one’s range of vision consequently expands.

- Either/or thinking just is not accurate thinking. That’s not the way things occur, and I feel the Aristotelian construct is one of the great shackles of Western civilization. Cut-ups are a movement toward breaking this down.