WATCH: Deleted Scene with REI21

Less than two weeks left till the premiere of The Red Line D.C. Project’s SEE / LINE. And we can’t wait for you to check out the final short film!

Until then, we have to hold you over.

Below is a deleted scene from the documentary, featuring an excerpt from an early interview with graffiti writer REI21. Here, REI responds to a question about whether or not the opinions of Red line riders matter to him. Spoiler Alert — They don’t!

See what REI has to say, then tell us your opinion. #iseeRDC

What About the Commuters? from citylovedc on Vimeo.

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The Urge to Exist

We missed you Monday, but there’s still time to kick your week off right!

How ’bout a little a philosophy? As in, “I write. Therefore, I am.”

In this deleted scene, graffiti writer Exist shares what compels him to do graffiti and hit the Red line, again and again.

Listen close, and you might recall some of those sound bites from an earlier cut of “See Something, Say Something.” Though, the interview didn’t make the final cut, we couldn’t keep it buried in the editing room.

Check out what Exist had to say, then check back for updates on November screenings of our short, two-part documentary SEE / LINE.

Follow us on Twitter: @_RedLineDC_, and shout us out with the hashtag #iseeRDC.

Are We There Yet?

As 2013 approaches, we know you’re eager for the big reveal of Red Line D.C.‘s final two-part documentary series. Trust us when we say, so are we!

Having finished the fine cuts of (part one) “See Something, Say Something” and (part two, tentatively titled), “Crossing the Line,” director/producer Saaret Yoseph has tagged in some essential support to help her champion–and finally complete–this three-year long project The remaining elements include, visual effects and a soundtrack by local legend Damu the Fudgemunk, a surefire combo package to compliment our documentary efforts.

We know that you are just as excited as we are to see these final touches come together. No doubt, a little impatient, as well. But fret not. With a few months to go until completion, we wouldn’t pass the time without giving you a taste of what’s to come. Here’s a slideshow featuring some of the fantastic, never-before-seen photos of Red line graffiti that we’ll be including in both films. These images have been collected by Cory Stowers, one of our featured interviewees and co-owner of the custom design shop Art Under Pressure. We have him to thank for holding you over until we get our act together.

Enjoy! And, as always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

From Theory to Practice

We’re back with another sampling from the #RedLineDC video vault. This time with an excerpt from last year’s interview with art historian and culture theorist Martin Irvine, the founding professor of Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture & Technology program.

We asked Professor Irvine about the academic concepts evident in graffiti subculture. What’s the big idea behind the writings on the wall? Why has the tradition of graffiti returned to the Red line, again and again? Irvine weighs in on the lure of metro graffiti and explains why we need to give these everyday aesthetics a closer look. See for yourself and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Lure of the Red Line from citylovedc on Vimeo.

Waxing Poetic, Metro-Style

Imagine combining your public transit experience with poetry. Try describing the feeling while underground or when emerging from a tunnel to face graffiti outside your window. Picture adding word and rhyme to the rhythm of shuffling feet, to the sight of bodies in motion, rocking along with the train. That’s exactly the goal of poet Joseph Ross and the folks at Knowledge Commons DC, whose Slam the Rails series looks to inject “spoken word in a context often defined by silence.” Ross will be in our neck of the woods on March 18th, reading poems on the red line (toward Glenmont). Riders are invited to hop the last car and hear him read, to take in his poetry along with the miles-long view of spray-painted murals and names.

Like us, Ross has been fascinated by the “ever changing graffiti landscape of the metro.” His poetry explores the work of local graffiti legend Cool Disco Dan and the significance of graffiti as a public name-writing practice. Here, he explains more about his curiosity with metro graffiti …

I am really interested in two areas of graffiti art. First, for me, is the “naming” element. I think it’s so interesting to explore what it means for someone to come out in the middle of the night and paint their name is 5 foot letters. I wonder how “unseen” that person might feel? I wonder about what kind of self-proclamation it is. It seems to be a way of saying “I’m here” to a world that does not see this person. It seems like a baptism, of a sort. Second, I am interested in the “memorializing” element of graffiti art. Often you see the name of someone from a neighborhood who has been killed– showing up in a memorial of some kind. Some are of famous people but some are from folks whose names the rest of us would never know. There is also something very transient about graffiti art– like a Buddhist sand painting where it’s created, it’s beautiful, but everyone knows it will blow away. That impermanence fascinates me too.
I’ve often thought of the Red Line from Union Station to Silver Spring as a kind of constantly changing graffiti art museum. You never know what you’ll see. A name can be there one day and gone the next.

Red-Eye: Up Against the Wall

A visit to the red line does much for visual wonders and recently, our red line research took us up-close and against a wall of colorful evidence. With red line writers Fame & Grave as our tour guides, we found ourselves somewhere in between Ft. Totten and Brookland — or was it Ft. Totten and Takoma? All we know for sure was there was graffiti high, low and in abundance. See for yourself …

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Open to the Public, Open for Discussion

Just when we thought we were alone, out here on the interweb, TBD’s On Foot echoes our efforts for public participation. Check out the pedestrian blog’s latest post with updates on our progress and read what blogger John Hendel had to say about the rough cut of part one in the Red Line D.C. series, See Something, Say Something. We’re so happy to have our words and visuals shared with new audiences. Let’s see what new conversations come of it …

Fall 2011 | "See Something, Say Something" sign on trash can, underground on the red line metro.