An 1870 map of Long Island and the southern part of Connecticut. (Photo: NYPL)
It’s the stuff that dreams are made of: unfettered access to a collection of more than 20,000 historical maps and atlases, oodles of urban data dating from the 19th century (think old NYC building footprints and the equivalent of ye olde white and yellow pages), and your own dedicated patch of the New York Public Library to make sense—and art—out of it all. Such is the premise and promise of the Net Artist Residency program dreamed up by NYPL Labs, the New York Public Library’s in-house digital innovation team, and Electric Objects, emerging maker of nifty computers-cum-digital canvases to display digital images on your walls. The residency, created to “explore the creative possibilities of historical collections and the potential of the EO platform,” is open for applications through August 20. Start thinking in 1080 x 1920 pixels (the slightly goofy extruded-portrait orientation that is the native resolution of the EO1 prototype frame) and browsing NYPL maps for inspiration.