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MannahattaVR

Envisioning Indigenous Futures

MannahattaVR

Long before Henry Hudson’s arrival in 1609, Manhattan or Manaháhtaan, as originally named by the Indigenous Lenape people, was a place of gathering and exchange amongst diverse nations. Today, Broadway runs along a portion of the original matrix of trails that connected Manaháhtaan to the broader northeast region and the Great Lakes.

Artist Beatrice Glow and The Wayfinding Project at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU partnered with Alecz Inca of Highway 101, ETC (Experiential Tech Community) to build Mannahatta VR, an interactive virtual reality experience that brings together the past and present of one Broadway block.  This project was developed through consultation with Native culture bearers, ecologists, educators and technologists. In the process, we ask ourselves how can we expand knowledge of Indigenous Manhattan? What does a sustainable Indigenous future look like? 

 Photo: Cover of the book Mannahatta by Dr. Eric W. Sanderson. Illustrations by Markley Boyer.

Photo: Cover of the book Mannahatta by Dr. Eric W. Sanderson. Illustrations by Markley Boyer.

The team also collaborated with NYU Ground Manager George Reis to create a virtual tour of NYU’s native plant gardens. Visit 8 Washington Mews on November 14 or December 12, 2016 to meet Glow and experience Mannahatta VR.

Mannahatta VR is a supplement to Lenapeway, an installation that will be on 24-hour view in the street-level windows of 715 Broadway (at Washington Place) from October 10 (Indigenous Peoples’ Day) to December 9. The location of the installation, which is viewable from the sidewalk 24/7 and is cosponsored by NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, marks the intersection of the main Lenape trail and a side-trail that traverses through present-day Washington Square Park.

 Installation view of Lenapeway by Beatrice Glow and APA at NYU.

Installation view of Lenapeway by Beatrice Glow and APA at NYU.

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 George Stonefish, recorded with Mimesys in 2018.

George Stonefish, recorded with Mimesys in 2018.

 Eva Davidova, Nov. 29, 2018.

Eva Davidova, Nov. 29, 2018.

 Neal, Nov. 29, 2018.

Neal, Nov. 29, 2018.

 Matthew MacVey, Nov. 29, 2018.

Matthew MacVey, Nov. 29, 2018.

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