Neil Freeman’s “Brooklyn Typology”: the Borough as Art

Neil Freeman is an urban planner, artist, and Brooklyn resident. His work appears on his website, fake is the new real. Thanks to Urban Omnibus, we’ve been alerted to a project of Freeman’s that should be of interest to all Brooklynites, including Heights residents. This is his “Brooklyn Typology. ” In Freeman’s words:

Brookyn Typology is an investigation of borough’s population and urban form. It consists of 2100 photographs taken in a sample of blockgroups in Brooklyn, plus detailed Census, historical, and typological data about the residential and housing in area. Together, the interlinked photographs and
data form a portrait of the urban fabric of Brooklyn.

Two of the “blockgroups” included in “Brooklyn Typology” are in the Heights: tract 3.01, blockgroup 1, consisting of the area bounded by Pineapple Street on the north, Hicks Street on the east, Pierrepont Street on the south, and Willow Street on the west; and tract 5, blockgroup 2 bounded by Pierrepont on the north, Clinton Street on the east, Joralemon Street on the south, and Henry Street on the west.

The art in Freeman’s project, along with the photography, is the way the information on the various tracts links together. Again, in Freeman’s words:

The artistic intention lies in the links between the elements of the site. Each datum, map, or photograph is linked to others in several ways. Density figures and dates link to other instances of similar values, historic periods or styles bring up lists of similar sites, or to all the sites sorted together. The network of connections enables novel forms of exploration of the borough. One can simultaneously investigate both the physical structure (in photographic or map form), and the underlying data or history.

In addition to linking horizontally, the reader may mine data vertically for each tract by clicking on each photo on the tract’s page to get additional information on the buildings in the picture, or by following the link to more census data for the tract.

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