For "New York Stories," Anthropologist Tracked 100 New Yorkers' Inner Monologues Across the City

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Andrew Irving/"New York Stories: The Lives of Other Citizens"
On Monday, Scientific American published a fascinating set of videos from an anthropologist named Andrew Irving, a researcher who spent part of 2011 documenting 100 random New Yorkers' inner monologues. Irving, a professor at the University of Manchester, stood on street corners and asked pedestrians to put on headsets and narrate their streams of consciousness out loud. What the videos demonstrate is at once awkward and intimate--a woman breaking down over a friend's cancer diagnosis, a man wondering about the virtue of having kids--and collectively reveal a deeper vein of thought traffic rarely witnessed on our stoic, "I am master of the sidewalk" faces.

Irving told the Voice that this particular project arose out of work he had done in Uganda, trying to understand the thoughts of those who had been diagnosed with HIV. Irving used to capture what he called "performative ethnographies" in the '90s, in which he'd ask sick people to walk around their neighborhoods and speak their minds aloud.

"It's a very simple thing really--writers have striven to try and understand streams of consciousness that mediate every day existence. And yet scientists have done a very bad job of doing that, because they tend to be laboratory based," Irving said.

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Zhang Xiaogang Opening at Pace Gallery in Chelsea Last Night

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"Hmm, shall we adopt him?" A pair of guests seem to be saying.


The Zhang Xiaogang opening last night at Chelsea's Pace Gallery was the event of the young spring season. Under threatening skies, and with throngs spilling out into 25th Street, the hangar-size space was thronged with art hangers-on -- but it was also thronged with the artists' latest work, a series of busts and monumental heads, their dress and eyewear recalling the 1960s.


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Is It Battlefield 3 or Occupy Oakland?

We were somewhat confused tonight when we clicked on the livestream of Occupy Oakland and saw the above video. As of right now, when you click on the link, you see a flash of live footage from the rowdy streets of Oakland, then the above ad for the PlayStation game Battlefield 3.

The intercut juxtaposition of soldiers, protestors and cops in riot gear is unsettling, and apparently, we weren't the only ones who thought so. Occupy Wall Street's official twitter immediately retweeted our sentiment.

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