Monday, December 01, 2008

commute as art

I blogged for Filmmaker Magazine about the dazzling animation in the tunnel after the B/Q DeKalb stop here in Brooklyn. Masstransiscope (1980) is by my former Hampshire film professor Bill Brand, restored after 20 years of negligence. Actually, I'd been riding past it nearly daily since I moved here, but they only turned the lights on the show a few months ago. The short article is mostly factual, and upon reflection, I feel like I've neglected to mention how nice it is to have art on your commute. It's easy enough to miss with your head in a book, your headphones on and spacing out into your own world, but once you notice that there's something to capture your attention out there in that dark tunnel, it's hard to ignore it when you go past. Your fellow commuters wonder what you're craning your neck at, and most feign disinterest when they see it too. But many, like these folks, get caught up in the joy of having something unexpected like this in the otherwise bland subway. Art in public places can be tricky. it can be ugly or creepy, and people can disagree about whether it's art or not (I'm looking at you, graffiti). I think this one falls into the category of art to enhance ones surroundings.