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Inspired by the methodology of Surrealism and the madness of Dada, the Bureau of Manufactured History works to uncover the unconscious content of the city. As our lives and neighborhoods become increasingly hyper-planned data-driven sites for commerce, the need for unpredictability, mystery, and romance becomes more urgent. “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth,” wrote Albert Camus, and the fictions of our cities deserve more attention. With this principle in mind, we collect rumors, dreams, historical moments, personal reports, and coincidences that can be reconfigured into a chaotic wide-angle portrait of today’s city. Cities are subjective and wildly emotional creatures, and the Bureau shall bear witness to the dreams of the people who make them tick.

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Oliver Blank is a composer. He builds sound toys, creates public installations and composes symphonic cinematic music. Oliver’s sound toys and public installations empower residents to connect with sound and create surprising experiences that bring a sense of wonder back to their city.

James A. Reeves is a writer, educator, and designer. He’s taught courses in design, history, and visual culture at Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design. His first book, The Road to Somewhere: An American Memoir, was published by W. W. Norton in 2011.

The Bureau of Manufactured History is brought to you by Civic Center with support from We Are City.