Monuments to Hart Island from Nick Hubbard on Vimeo.

Monuments to Hart Island

A virtual reality experience created by Rebecca Lieberman and Nick Hubbard at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), Fall 2015.

Software: Unity 3D, Agisoft Photoscan, Meshmixer, Maya.

Monuments to Hart Island is an explorable virtual environment that houses memorials to the present and history of Hart Island.  Hart Island is a one mile landform off the east coast of the Bronx, directly adjacent to City Island in Long Island Sound, New York.  Originally used as a Civil War training, prisoner of war, and then burial location, it was purchased by the City of New York in 1869 and its primary purpose became serving as the final resting place for the indigent and unclaimed dead of the city.  Now managed by the Department of Corrections (DOC), Hart Island still fulfills this role, with as many as 1,500 bodies being buried on the island every year by inmates from Riker’s Island.

Monuments to Hart Island utilizes the burgeoning form of virtual reality to allow citizens repeat and thorough access to a culturally and historically important site that is off-limits due to lack of resources and bureaucratic boundaries.  It visualizes and spatializes history, geography, and infrastructure that is unknown to most residents of New York.

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