PLATFORM: Creative Musings on Mass Transit
Inspired by the engineering, intricate choreography, and impromptu interactions of your daily commute? Wish there was an open mic night for historians and urbanists? A show-and-tell for your creative musings on mass transit?
Us, too. That’s why we created PLATFORM, a series of cross-disciplinary programs created by the public for the public. Have an idea? We’ll give you a platform.
The next PLATFORM event has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 27, 2018. On that evening, selected projects will be featured in an evening of simultaneous installations, displays, workshops, and performances all taking place in our museum in Downtown Brooklyn. The full lineup will be announced in early June.
Have an idea for the next PLATFORM event?
While the call for proposals for the June 27th PLATFORM event has closed, we welcome submissions on a rolling basis between open calls. We love submissions from all disciplines — history, science, engineering, visual and performing arts, urban studies, city planning, academic fields. The common denominator? Public transportation.
To be considered for a future PLATFORM event, please fill out this form. If your project is selected by the committee for a future program, we will reach out to you. Have a question? Need some help refining your idea? Email email@example.com.
Andrew Michael Andrews, Paper Artist
A reimagining of the 1980s video game Pitfall! as hand-made paper collage ArtCards for display in the MTA transit system. The collages depict Washington Square Park, Union Square Park, Bryant Park and Central Park’s Conservatory Water as scenes from the groundbreaking early home video game and invoke a sense of nostalgia and familiarity for the viewer.
Gyda Arber & Elysia Segal
‘Til the Boys Come Home
Two women strike up an unexpected friendship in this immersive musical, set on the New York subway amidst the heightened political tensions of 1917. Journey with them through stories and songs of the Great War era as they discover that their bond runs much deeper than they realize.
Red Lines temporarily outfits a vintage R15 Subway car to accentuate the unique elements of its mid-century interior. This installation will be rendered as a series of lines and images located between interior train elements, combining to create an experiential form that is both visually engaging and spatially specific. An original composition by Danny Mark Asis and Joshua Steven Kopit will anchor the installation at each end of the Subway car.
Maya Barkai, Artist
Walking Men Worldwide™ (Excerpts from the Collection)
Aphotographic collage of pedestrian traffic icons from cities around the world,realized in a series of public art installations. The project was conceived asa collaborative and interactive effort that harnesses professional and amateurphotographers, each adding a piece to the collage. Once assembled on onecanvas, these icons represent the ever-growing list of international contributors, in the spirit of NYC’s multi-cultural makeup.
Jamie Benson and the Shakedown Dance Collective
Led by choreographer Jamie Benson, the Shakedown, a dance collective for people of all shapes, ages and experience levels, riffs on real-life NYC transit experiences collected from the general public. The work explores man-spreading, public drunkenness, mobile tech, gross things on the floor and more.
Jamie Benson, Choreographer & Performer
Andrae Gonzalo, Designer & Performer
In a chance transit encounter, a service industry professional encounters a glimmer of hope while serving up his usual dish of despair. Party to Go is part of the full evening work “Go Metro,” inspired by the mundane and extraordinary scenarios of public transit.
Elena Berriolo, Material Artist
The Making of a Book with Sewing Machine in the New York City Subway
An embroidered accordion book created with a sewing machine while riding the subway on a 26-mile journey from the Bronx to Wall Street and back in 2015.
Anne Born, Writer & Storyteller
Prayer Beads on the Train: Another Collection of Stories Written on the MTA
A Marshmallow on the Bus: A Collection of Stories Written on the MTA
I take the bus or the train every day, back and forth, from the Bronx into Manhattan, then on to Queens. These collections of stories were written ‐ sitting on the BX6, the M5, the M4, or the B, D, F, 2, 4, N, 7, or Q – about the ride, the view, my fellow passengers, or the wait on the corner.
Jon Burgerman, Artist
It’s Great to Create
I try to share my view of the world with others, through fun images and mixed media but I am hampered by being inherently lazy and burdened by the weight of material things. To combat this I have recently embarked on projects I term as quiet interventions, where subtle, cheap, nonpermanent actions can drastically alter the reading of a situation. Public spaces, in particular train stations and subways, are ripe for this kind of exploitation.
Alon Chitayat & Jeff Ong, New Media Artists and Storytellers
An interactive storytelling installation that explores the city through the thoughts, sounds, and inner-lives of its commuters.
Sarah Dahnke, Line Dance Inventor
New York Transit Line
A giant participatory line dance created for and inspired by the New York City subway system. Join the fun! Learn the line dance in advance or join us on the platform. The most egalitarian form of dancing, the line dance equalizes all participants, just like the subway system.
Geneviève DeBose, Educator, Artist and Activist
Human B-I-N-G-O! on the A Train
Every day millions of people ride the subway and have no idea who they’re sharing space with. Through an immersive, Museum-wide game of human bingo, straphangers risk losing their seats to learn about their neighbors, build community, and make this city of more than 8 million people feel a bit more like home.
Cat Del Buono, Artist/Filmmaker
Diana Leidel, Artist/Photographer
An installation of photos, video, and sound that dramatizes the lives, exhaustion, thoughts and experiences New Yorkers encounter in their daily commute. An intimate portrait of our fellow subway riders, giving insight into who they are in their own words.
Amy DiGi, Painter
The Painted Museum
A live painting session inspired by the Museum’s installations and subway station environment. Working “en plein air” (or in this case, underground) to encourage interaction and participation, DiGi’s completed works will also be on display throughout both levels of the Museum.
Brett Dion, #1 Beatles Fan
How to “Train” The Beatles
The Beatles famously came to America by plane 50 years ago, but they toured by train. Just after that tour, they dramatized train travel in A Hard Day’s Night. In this clip & slideshow presentation, take a speedy journey through the Fab Four’s many challenges as they make use of the original Penn Station and take a round trip by rail. Then, climb on board and join the virtual film crew as the Beatles shoot their critically-acclaimed movie on real trains.
Three 10-minute musicals take place on the M42 bus as it travels from East to West across Manhattan. TRIPTYCH follows three friends and their relationships to each other and the City in 1985, 2000 and 2017, partially inspired by the Transit Museum exhibit, A Day in the Life of a Bus.
Kyla Ernst-Alper, Director, Producer & Performer
Maxx Passion, Director, Producer & Performer
A transmedia piece featuring short screen-dances that capture professional dancers as they travel through the public transit system of New York City. After and during the installation, the audience is invited to read interviews with the dancers on the project website in order to learn more about their lives in NYC. A soundscape voiced by the dancers and underscored by the vibrations of the MTA accompanies the collection of danced vignettes.
I Love You, New York City
For decades, musicians have declared their love to New York City sonically to much fanfare. Accompanied by guitarist Jeff McLaughlin, Queen Esther sifts through the best of them—from “Autumn in New York” (Billie Holiday) to “Incident on 57th Street” (Bruce Springsteen)—to tell the story of her life in Manhattan.
Alex Gallafent, Designer & Writer
Tom, Delayed explores how public transportation transforms our experience of time into fragments of opportunity, frustration, hiatus, interruption and more. An illustrated ‘lecture’, it features short pieces of invented audio ‘archive’ that illustrate the variety, humanity, and absurdity of waiting for the next thing to come or for the journey to end.
Jenn Grossman, Musician & Sound Artist
En-Trained: Sounding the Daily Commute
A public sound installation that takes various recordings from the daily commute and composes them into a single ambient sound composition. In bringing attention to daily sounds that go unnoticed, passersby can experience the daily grind with an active ear and a new perspective.
A selection of the artist’s photo montages derived from images of train stations replaces the advertisements in a vintage train car.
Jack Feldstein, Scriptwriter, Neon Animator, Director
A neon animation of Walt Whitman’s poem “Manahatta,” read by George Wallace, writer-in-residence at the Walt Whitman birthplace in Huntington, Long Island.
Bob Goldberg, Composer and Musician
Music for Subways (Revisited)
A video time-capsule and live accordion journey that captures subway travel throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, resonating with the unique acoustics and architecture of the IND subway stations. Originally composed in 1985, Music for Subways returns for a one night engagement.
Shandoah Goldman, Artistic Director/Choreographer, Carte Blanche Performance
A surreal, evocative, and immersive dance-theatre performance taking place in a 1969 subway car. A woman is costumed in a paper period dress made of newspaper from the day Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Performance by Shandoah Goldman and Julien Delbassee Leflon. Costumes by Asa B. Thornton.
The (Gr)album Collective
Train O’ Thots
An interactive homage to NYC subway riders that lets iPad users tap, pinch, and swipe through the train and meet various characters sharing the commute, while a lively soundtrack of subway performers provides background for their explorations. All artwork hand-sketched by Tom Hart while riding the subway. Created by:Tom Hart, Artist; Leah Coloff, Director; Jacob McCoy, Designer; Sarth Calhoun, Developer; Virginia Piazza, Producer
NYC VIA MTA: Subway Projection Mapping
NYC VIA MTA is a projection mapping installation that is comprised of a cityscape made of foam core with video projected onto the surfaces. The video content consists of showcasing the various amazing sites one can access by public transportation in New York City.
Storycards randomly dispersed on subway seats prompt individual reflections on the daily commute which are later assembled into a meta-narrative of the NYC commute. Find a card hidden in the Transit Museum to add your own contribution to the collective story. Together, we write the story of the mobile city, one exquisite moment at a time.
Le Vol de Solange
An urban ballerina ventures into the NYC metropolis to the hip hop beat of a jazz infused orchestral track. Shot entirely on an iPhone, the film juxtaposes traditional ballet within the contemporary cityscape. The use of color and unique compositional choices adds to the dancer’s choreography.
Kai Kleinbard, Dancer & Choreographer
Creature in the City
From the depths of the underground a creature, inspired by the chaotic rhythm of rush hour and the smooth flow of trains, is born. Using urban dance forms to embody the stop and start motions of metropolitan transit, a solo improviser emerges from this platform, transforming into an otherworldly being.
Transit Book Swap
New York City’s daily commuters rarely take their noses out of their paperbacks. Take part in Krrb’s book swap and connect with neighbors and fellow riders. Get face time with those who share the city rails with us, exchange books and make a new friend or two. Krrb is a friendly community classifieds for buying and selling locally.
Antonia Lassar, Interdisciplinary Artist
On the Ride Here
A solo clowning piece based on first-person interviews about what makes the perfect subway ride, the anecdotes you tell when you want to explain why New York is worth it, spontaneous dance parties, meeting your soulmate, and the good Samaritan who passes out cookies and hand sanitizer. A magical ride through the NYC transit system.
Jacqueline Lavin, Visual Artist and Actor
Gaetano Semilia, Musician and Actor
The Subway Scene!
A lighthearted animation short portrays characters that ride our trains, accompanied by music as conversation and live character acting brings the animated train car to life.
Theresa Loong, Director
The Coast is Clear
A secret story and mini-documentary about a man – my father – who rides the trains while his roommate is…busy. The film is shot on the vintage trains and also incorporates animation. It’s a recollection of the subway as an escape, a place to kill time, or a place to retreat to when banished.
Lost and Found
Lost and Found is a series of photographs featuring objects that commuters forget and find in the New York City transportation system.
Stations and Resonances
Featuring Matthew Welch
Stations and Resonances explores contrasting sonic resonances between subway stations along the 6 line, looking for points of intriguing sonic activity within the station and how this coincides with structural and historical aspects of the station. The result of these explorations form a new composition for bagpipes, video and electronics, performed by Matt Welch at the Avant Music Festival.
Greg McDowell and The Transit City Crew Jazz Band
This is our Platform!
A set of classic tunes depicting sounds from yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Janine McGuire & Arri Lawton Simon, Book, Music & Lyrics
EXPRESS: A Lot Can Happen Between Subway Stops
Rose Ginsberg, Director
An immersive musical performed in three parts in period-specific train cars dating from the 1940s to the 1990s.
The Commute to Accomplishment
Through a dramatic monologue, the story of Granville T. Woods, the inventor of the electric third rail, comes to life.
Ashley McQueen, Smashworks Dance Collective
In Transit explores the intricacies of human interaction within the New York City subway. Complimented by live performers, on-screen dancers explore the red line from Wall Street to 96th Street in this multidisciplinary work–complete with pink flagging tape, squished commuters, and the electric energy of this underground world.
Erin B. Mee
Let the train be your theatre as you sample three site-specific audio plays for the N, 7, and L trains and learn how to download the Subway Plays app for your smartphone.
Michael Miscione, Manhattan Borough Historian
Beating the System: How a 1960s Whiz Kid Tried to Break the Subway Riding Speed Record with One Token and a Computer Bigger than a Refrigerator
A presentation about the two most elaborate and audacious attempts to break the all-system NYC subway riding speed record in the 1960s. Will feature a present-day interview with Peter Samson, the mastermind behind the attempts, and never before seen movie footage of one of the attempts.
Modern-Day Griot Theatre Company, Experimental, Interdisciplinary Theatre Company
Can more than one person tell the same story? What happens when someone describes an incident from his or her past? People from different walks of life explore the idea of what happens when more than one person tells the same story in the same space using the same mode of public transportation.
Lacey Ann Moore, Choreographer
Featuring: WAFFLE NYC / Andrew Saunders
What Time Is It?
Modern dance meets the streets in this live structured dance work that explores the diversity and unifying principles of public performance.
New York Transit Museum
Bringing Back the City
Where were you on the morning of September 11, 2001? How did you get home during the blackout of 2003? Did you travel across boroughs in the days following Superstorm Sandy? Share your personal transit-related stories on camera for a chance to be featured in the Museum’s upcoming exhibit about the many ways transit helps the city plan for and recover from disaster.
Lila Newman and Sarah Rosenshine, Producers, Barnum Effect
Barnum Effect’s All Ears
A short, audio-driven, live comic piece inspired by real conversations overheard in a subway car. Barnum Effect is a radio sketch comedy group seeking to renew radio comedy in the U.S. and explore the capabilities of the medium. In the recording process, Barnum Effect combines Golden Age radio techniques with modern comedy to create a fresh take on a classic form.
NYC Urban Sketchers
Urban Sketchers descend en masse to document the PLATFORM experience and capture the world we live in, one sketch at a time.
Above My Head, Under My Hand
As you are whisked along underground, do you ever wonder about the world passing above your head? This installation brings that world down into the subway, with a series of frottage rubbings collected from the ground above the artist’s own commute, a short stretch of the A/C line.
Sara Polish, Artist
A Brighter Passage
An interactive space-specific installation of colorful crocheted and knitted cozies covering the vintage subway turnstiles, transforming them into bright and handmade objects using the artistic form “yarn bombing.”
Natalia ‘Saw Lady’® Paruz
1900s Subway Musician
The fact that the first rules of conduct of the subway already included a prohibition for busking (street performing) tells us there were street musicians in the subway from its start. This projects connects today’s subway musicians with those more than 100 years ago.
PlanIt Brooklyn, Artist Collective
God Bless the A
On Dec. 29, 2010, a community of friends and family gathered in Brooklyn to share their experiences about riding the subway. The conversations were recorded, and playwrights wove the tales together into a laugh-until-you-cry stage play that highlights the drama seen on the A train during the 105 minute ride from 207 Street in Washington Heights to Far Rockaway.
Maya Quattropani, Visual Artist, Art Teacher & Performer
Body Reaction Project Cough, BRP Action Game Series
Performers and audience members collaborate to emit sounds and perform a musical symphony that addresses one of the most uniting contemporary urban phobias: contagion. A guided game with simple rules that simulate, and stimulate, the rituals of our daily commutes.
New York’s Sixth Borough: The Subway System
A selection of “subwayscape” photographs from the blog Wandering New York that capture the transit system’s intricate built environment and its influence on the neighborhoods and development of New York City.
Justin Rivers, Playwright
Clyde Baldo, actor
Matt Pilieci, actor
The Eternal Space (Penn Station)
A two-man play about an unlikely friendship forged during the demolition of New York’s Pennsylvania Station, set against the dramatic backdrop of demolition photography from the era.
Featuring Subway Doodle
ARTPROV was created by comic Rory Scholl to combine art and comedy as inspirations for one another. Fast-paced comedy and original artwork combine in one-of-a-kind scenes, songs and artwork. ARTPROV has performed for Michaels Arts and Crafts, The New Museum and comedy festivals across the country and donates each new piece of art to charity.
Their guest artist will be Subway Doodle, the genius behind the illustrations placing monsters and characters into photos with NYC commuters. Their comics are from UCB, Tru TV and the Peoples Improv Theater.
Ryan Seslow, Curator & Artist
Michael Branson Smith, Curator & Artist
A series of GIF animations generated from the Transit Museum’s archival images and inspired experiences with the transit system in NYC. Works are shown both online and offline to examine, share and express our collective sentiments. Featuring animations by John Zobele, Jeffery Allen Price, G1ft3d, General Howe, Abe Lincoln JR, Ryan Seslow, Michael Branson Smith, Monqiue Spier, Guy Vincent, Meredith Starr, Jessica Fenlon, Alice Arnold, Eileen MacAvery Kane, John Johnston, and Marianna Fuenes.
Ryan Seslow, Curator & Animator
A series of GIF animations generated from images and inspired experiences with the transit system in NYC. Works are shown both online and offline to examine, share and express our collective sentiments. The June 25 program will include works by Eileen MacAvery Kane, Michael Branson Smith, Alice Arnold, Katherin McInnis, and Ryan Seslow.
Sarah Shanfield, Writer
Shanfield performs haiku from her tumblr SuperZenNewYork, a blog about her commute to work in Manhattan and adventures on the subway.
Engines of Culture
Join Danya Sherman for a lightning talk about her trips around the country and a participatory workshop to dream together about a better American train network. This work is part of a larger project called Engines of Culture, which aims to create arts and cultural activities in train spaces and build support for America’s national rail system.
Samara Smith, Artist
A.E Souzis, Artist
A crowd-sourced visual diary documenting the collective observations of New Yorkers on their daily commute. Through a series of interactive text messaging, commuters are invited to share photos of what they see as they travel to and from the subway. The artist collective /rive focuses on site-specific projects that meet at the intersection of psychogeography, locative media and documentary narrative.
Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble
Ride the Culture Loop
Anna Sokolow’s historic dance Ride the Culture Loop, originally choreographed in 1975, captures the spirit of those turbulent times. Playful with her reference to the 1970s NYC Culture Bus, which brought the masses to New York City “cultcha”, the dance navigates through both the emotional and cultural tapestry of the era.
Brian Soliwoda, Puppet Master
What Goes Down: Shadows from the Deep
A shadow puppet performance that follows a diver into a sunken 7 train to meet some of the most mysterious, intriguing, and impressive passengers a RedBird has ever carried.
Kelly Spivey, Filmmaker
Fish Under Delancey
A stop-motion, eavesdropping, dreamlike journey of a film that follows poet and writer Eileen Myles on a journey through the tile murals that line many subway platforms. Inspired by the filmmaker’s travels from Flushing to Manhattan and throughout the boroughs of NYC.
Robert M. Stevenson & Jess Honovich
The Last F Train on Earth
Featuring Dontonio Demarco Davis
Where do our minds wander when the subway gives us time to think? In this intimate site-specific play, two strangers on the same subway car create a story about the last F train on Earth, with nothing but the objects in their car and the omniscient voice of the conductor.
Christine Stoddard, Writer/Filmmaker
A Train Runs Through It
An experimental animation and discussion on the trains of Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
The Poetry Train
A collaborative, group poetry exercise inspired by contemporary, large-scale black and white photo collages of long distance rail travel.
Katherine Taylor, Artist
Lilly Lotus Flower’s Express Train to Inner Peace
A guided meditation exploring the sights, sounds and smells of the NYC subway system, all set in a vintage train car.
Plays in Transit
Two short plays by Tina Howe
Directed by Ari Laura Kreith
Two site-specific plays by Pulitzer finalist and Tony nominee Tina Howe, set on a Lincoln Center-bound M104 bus and on the R train in Lower Manhattan respectively: CAUTION, THIS BUS KNEELS. STAND CLEAR and Skin Deep. A diverse cast of characters travel through rainstorms and subterranean mythic landscapes, exploring both physical and emotional geography as they discover unexpected connections arising in the space of a single journey.
Katie Toth, Journalist & Audio Storyteller
Lara Atallah, Photographer & Visual Artist
Moments: Stories from the Underground
Stories seek to both unite and define us, to tell us who we are, to draw meaning from the exhausting sameness of the everyday. Through image and words, the artists draw out those moments of narrative and fantasy from our oft-unnoticed time underground.
Pia Vinson, Choreographer
An ode to the beautiful madness we only find in cities, places of cosmopolitan, architectural and emotional contrasts, where the crowd smiles, cries, yells, falls asleep. Places that still remind you, through their positive energy, that you have come there to reach your dreams and stand out. Contrast is an invitation to bring your own color to the painting.
Christopher Vitiello, Filmmaker
Hollye Bynum, Choreographer
A cross-disciplinary dance film that explores the relationship between rhythm and routine, similarity and difference, and the “dances” that unfold within the public transit sphere as people make their way from here to there.
Sarah Jo Ward, Creative Lead
WAYWARD: Creating a Dialogue About Women in Transit
Using visuals, movement, film and words, WAYWARD explores the geographical and perceptual routes that women in Seattle navigate on a daily basis. We asked women where they were going and where they were coming from and explored those answers in this project and our own lives.
Tennessee Watson, Alex Mallis & Yeshe Parks
Park to Park
An audio and video installation of a bicycle ride from Central Park to Prospect Park, set into motion by the pedaling of a stationary bicycle. Riding through city streets allows for the sights, smells, and sounds to be experienced fully. The fluidity and, at times, rigidity of different neighborhoods in NYC can be more accurately experienced and understood on bicycle.
Ryan Witte, Historian & Researcher
Getting to the World’s Fair
A visual slideshow journey through the 1939 World’s Fair featuring archival images and historical anecdotes.
David R. Yale, Award-Winning Punster & Author
American Drivers Are Not Well-Trained
A humorous and sardonic brief history of the transition from a nation of trolleys to the car culture, in puns.