Something “lite” for Friday. (Trying to make this the routine.)

Most of the interview snippets concern race, obliquely or head-on. If you ask New Yorkers open-ended questions about anything, the conversation will almost always end up there sooner or later. The movie anthropomorphizes common New York objects in a generally random fashion (with the exception of the Italian luggage, I didn’t read any associations between thing and identity), but the matter of race remains, both explicitly and implicitly. Explicitly, when the red emergency services box speaks about her pride as a black woman, when the big and little newspaper boxes discuss their Cherokee ancestry, etc., and implicitly when accents and other vocal details suggest individual histories – the smoker’s cough of the Bronx-born free-used-car-info box seemed, to me, particularly suggestive. Also notable was the Asian (?) pay phone’s awkward reference to “some black people” blasting music from their car, although the remark was obviously well-meaning.

Thanks to TM for the original link.

Next week: the ethics of recording involuntary outbursts, and the sound sculptures of Harry Bertoia.

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