Space Invaders: Diaries of Radical Empathy

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Space Invaders: Diaries of Radical Empathy

November 4, 2016 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 pm EDT

Video Competition Brief & Call for Entries 

A project of Urban Omnibus and SLO Architecture

The Hudson River bike path is flooded with runners; a lane of midtown traffic is blocked by vendors pushing food carts; rideshare cars idle in every crosswalk, waiting for a hire. Cyclists roll through blinking “don’t walk” signs, leaving frightened throngs of people in their wake; longboarders sail up the middle lane of open avenues at midnight. Even rats claim their share of the transportation network, crowding the subway platform as passengers wait for overnight trains. What we share in New York City is opportunism. We are keen to extend our lines of action deep into one another’s territories, enjoying those places where we’re inconvenient, unwanted, and dangerous.

Simultaneous uses coexist, confound, and conflict. Each circulator tries to delegitimize the other by getting in the way, amounting to an all-out war. As more and more people seek alternate forms of travel, there is a need for empathy in how we move through the city. Far from creating enmity, a multiplicity of flows can encourage greater sensitivity. Walkers, runners, skateboarders, pedicabbers, bikers, limousine, bus, and truck drivers, drone operators, kayakers, and swimmers can find ways to share the city, while feeling that their space is free and respected.

What contradictions of coexistence can we reveal in order to transform territorial aggression into a collective right-of-way?

Call for Entries

Urban Omnibus, a publication of The Architectural League of New York and SLO Architecture invite all city circulators and mavens of transportation to compose and submit a two-minute video diary of radical empathy. Envision the city from a mode of travel you never take, or can’t stand to try. Or, try to get from one place to another in the most unexpected or impossible way — swim to work, bike to the airport, kayak to dinner, climb a mountain to the post office. We encourage you to find a new experience of the city, from a point of view you’ve so far never given yourself a moment to know, or even knew existed.

An interdisciplinary jury will select three winners: one first prize, and two runners-up. Winning entries will be highlighted on Urban Omnibus alongside a three-part editorial series entitled City of Cycling, which will examine the current condition of cycling in New York City and its implications for altering urban space. The first place winner will additionally receive a $1000 cash prize, and two runners-up will receive $250 each.

Submission Requirements, Terms & Conditions

Entries must be no longer than 2 minutes, and the primary language of the entries must be English.

Submissions must be in the form of HD resolution files, uploaded to the following Box URL:

File names must include the first and last name of the entrant. Submissions must be accompanied by a cover-sheet PDF or Microsoft Word document including the following information: title of film, first and last name of creator, email address, phone number, mailing address.

Submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on November 4, 2016. Late submissions will not be considered.

Reasonable efforts will be made to contact the winner and runners-up. If the winner cannot be contacted, the organizers reserve the right to offer the prize to the runner(s)-up selected by the same judges.

The organizers of this competition reserve the right to refuse any entry that contains inappropriate or offensive content. Organizers reserve the right to use submitted videos, in whole or in part, as well as the names and biographical information of any entrant, in promotional materials

Questions may be directed to



November 4, 2016
8:00 am - 11:00 pm EDT
Event Category: