Research Multimedia

Walter Benjamin's New York

In collaboration with the Center for Digital Storytelling at Berkeley, California, and the Digital Story Group of New York, we have begun to offer classes in which the basics of digital storytelling literacy are taught, and then used to bring the material world to life. The first such course was "Creating a Virtual Exhibition/ Digital Story: Walter Benjamin’s New York," offered in Spring 2002.

Benjamin's unfinished "Arcades Project" is his greatest work. We have used it as the "script" for a series of multi-media essays that reflect on his study of modern material culture. But where his word commented on nineteenth-century Paris, our images are of twentieth-century New York. Benjamin, thus transformed, becomes a commentator on twentieth-century New York, while The City, in turn, helps us understand better Benjamin's interpretation of Paris in an earlier age of "high capitalism" (1840–1870). View the exhibition.


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