Take a Ride with Red Line D.C.!
My, my, my … how time flies. It was this time last year that we applied for a small/planning grant with the Humanities Council of Washington, DC and as we take stock of our work, so far, we thought we’d share a portion of our submitted project narrative:
The main idea of The Red Line D.C. project is to integrate the typically disparate players associated with illegal public art – those creating it, those consuming it and those covering it up. In a communal environment like the D.C. metro a mosaic of opinions exist about the images and messages populating the ride. Some view metro graffiti as blight, while others support it a means for free expression. Similarly, as the space around the red line metro begins to change, questions about valuation and gentrification begin to arise. The Red Line D.C. project intends to address the many interrelated issues associated with illegal public art by inquiring what one space means to many.
The mention of “disparate players” and singular space reinforces our red line goals. The red line has and continues to have different functions for the many different people who use it. Thus, we’re constantly on the grind to collect more voices, more stories, more experiences on the metro. Though, we’ve filmed and interviewed a good amount of graffiti writers, commuters and property owners have been, surprisingly, reluctant to bite. Currently, we’re on the hunt for one (or more!) metro rider(s) who might be willing to let us film their day’s commute on the red line. If you’re down for commuter cause and interested in being involved with our documentary, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If not, please pass on the word to someone who might be. We and our cameras are super ready to roll … but don’t worry, we’ll be gentle.
From Graffiti-Watching to People-Watching
It’s obvious from our last post that there are other things, besides graffiti, to hold your attention on public transit. People-watching is, perhaps, the most commonly enjoyed sport. Who among us hasn’t stopped to ogle or even capture a picture of a fellow rider while en route? (We sure have: See Photo.) Which brings us to “nyc subways and the people on them.” This commuter-made Tumblr blog is a collection of snapshots taken of unsuspecting subway riders, from eccentric seniors to sneaker-clad teens to unabashed fashionistas, all on their way to who-knows-where. The compilation of everyday images reminds us a lot of the “The Subway Pictures” by Peter Peter. With the same covert eye aimed at the NYC subway, Peter Peter’s photo book captures the communal experience of public transit by highlighting its ever-changing cast of ordinary (and extraordinary) characters. Take a look at the pictures and feel free to share your own!