Inspired by an episode of Seinfield, in which George Costanza is trying to keep his high score in a game of Frogger and running through traffic with the cabinet, 5th Ave Frogger takes the real-time traffic on New York City’s 5th Avenue and maps it into a game of Frogger.
Its interesting to see the budding relationship between contemporary art and Seinfeld. Cory Arcangel’s There’s Always One at Every Party (2010) at the Whitney last year comes to mind. In that piece Arcangel obsesses over (via a super-cut montage) every scene in Seinfeld that mentions Kramer’s “Coffee Table Book About Coffee Tables.”
Unlike Arcangel’s work, 5th Ave Frogger has yet to enter a museum. The goal, as the video points out, is to have the cabinet placed in the Smithsonian’s The Art of Video Games exhibition. It would be a nice touch to the exhibition, unfortunately it might not fit with the overall premise of the show and making changes after an installation doesn’t happen so easily. Still, you can support the project through a Facebook post on the Smithsonian’s page.
If the Smithsonian doesn’t take interest, public art organizations like Creative Time or Public Art Fund should. There’s a special dimension added to the game when placed in front of the street and in real-time. It also creates a new site to experience videogames as a form of art and culture.