James Nares’ hypnotic “Street” movie captures New York City in slow motion


posted Monday, March 18, 2013 at 2:31 PM EDT

Artist James Neares' video "Street" takes one of the world's most bustling and fast-paced cities, New York, and slows it down to a crawl. Filmed over a week in September of 2011, Neares recorded 16 hours of footage from the street of the Big Apple, which were cut down to three minutes of real time footage. But since he shot in incredibly high speed, that's 61 minutes of Manhattanites moving at a glacial pace.

"Street" is on show at the Met until the end of May, and was previously shown at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford. Neares captured the footage for this video by driving through Manhattan at 30-40 miles an hour, with a Phantom Flex in the back of his car, recording the pedestrians from the side window as he went by. The Flex is capable of up to 2,570fps at 1920x1080, and with a Angenieux Optimo 17-80 millimeter T2.2 zoom lens on the front he was able to capture the motion of city almost, but not quite, frozen. The final film was then scored by Thurston Moore, the co-founder of Sonic Youth.


Nares describes "Streets" as:

"My intention was to give the dreamlike impression of floating through a city full of people frozen in time, caught Pompeii-like, at a particular moment of thought, expression, or activity…a film to be viewed 100 years from now."

Accompanying the video is a curated installation of objects from the Met's permanent collection, directly or obliquely linked to the video itself. The two rooms of objects, which reach back as far as 3000 B.C., are all meant to invoke urban life. It's a curious video, one that doesn't quite have the frozen in an instant feel of street photography, but rather captures the still dynamic motion of people in the city, just at an incredibly slow pace.

(via Design Taxi)