Main Street

Main Street

NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA

An interactive walk through the centre of town.

Project Details

Photographer Danny Singer has been creating large-scale images depicting small, prairie town main streets located in both Canada and the United States for almost 20 years. Many of these towns are only a stone’s throw from major highways, but are often missed by the passing busy interurban traveller. He constructs his works, which can be as large as 10 feet in length, by carefully stitching together hundreds of individual exposures. The resulting compositions emerge as an all-inclusive view, with a seamless “floating point” perspective.

After discovering his photographic works, we conceived the idea of an interactive exhibition that explored the notion of Main Street as a real place, as opposed the more metaphorical notion of it as a counterpoint to Wall Street we hear so much about in business news.

Working with Danny Singer and the NFB Digital Studio we created an interface that invites users to dive into the photographs, and traverse these concise, linear rural spaces. An immersive audio layer combines contemporary music with an archival radio “crop report”. Framing it all is a narrative layer reminding the user that “Main Street is real, and it’s beautiful, and you can go there.”

Main Street was the winner of an Applied Arts Interactive Award and is featured in Time Magazine’s Lightbox and the MIT Open Documentary Labs, Docubase.

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