Museum of the Phantom City Scavenger Hunt

Irene Cheng and Brett Snyder are launching a mobile media project this weekend that allows people to browse proposed, visionary, but unbuilt designs for New York City on your iPhone. (Reason #172 why I love having an iPhone.) Museum of the Phantom City: OtherFutures is a project Cheng and Snyder developed during their Van Alen Institute New York Prize Fellowship, a program which supports advanced research and experimental practice that explores, challenges, and expands conventional definitions of public architecture. You might recall past Omnibus mention of other New York Prize recipients Alexander Levi and Amanda Schachter and their crossing of the Bronx River. This weekend’s event is equally worthy of our attention and attendance.

The press release explains further:

Users can view images and descriptions of speculative projects ranging from Buckminster Fuller’s dome over midtown Manhattan, to Antonio Gaudi’s unbuilt cathedral, to Archigram’s pop-futurist “Walking City,” all while standing on the projects’ intended sites.

Created by Van Alen Institute New York Prize fellows Irene Cheng and Brett Snyder, Museum of the Phantom City: OtherFutures is not only a window into innovative architecture, but a work of unconventional design in itself – a robust, database-driven contribution to the field of mobile media public art and part of the small but emerging genre of iPhone “app art.”

The project launches this Saturday, October 3, at 1:00 p.m. with a self-guided tour and scavenger hunt. Participants met at the Roosevelt Island tram station, and reconvene later in the day for a reception and prizes at the Van Alen Institute.

Individuals interested in participating in the tour and scavenger hunt must email by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 30 to reserve a spot and to receive instructions on downloading the iPhone app. Those who do not have an iPhone will be teamed up with someone who does.

1:00 p.m. – Tour and Scavenger Hunt
Meet at the base of the aerial tram station on Roosevelt Island
4:00 p.m. – Project Reception and Prizes
Convene at Van Alen Institute
30 W. 22nd Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10010
(212) 924-7000

Go, appreciate some database-driven mobile media public art, and explore the unbuilt city.

Varick Shute served as a founding editor of Urban Omnibus from its inception to 2015.