Tuesday, March 29, 2011
By Kate Hinds
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) WNYC's Gallerina interviewed Alexander Chen, the musician/graphic designer who turned a 1972 version of the New York City subway map into a digital work of musical art.
"Each time two trains intersect, you hear the sound of a note being plucked on a cello -- turning the visuals into an abstract musical improvisation."
Read the story -- and watch the composition unfold -- over at WNYC.
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Monday, January 31, 2011
(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) Forget riding the subway, try playing it. Conductor: mta.me is an impressive digital art project inspired by the New York City subway system.
Artist Alexander Chen recreated, and then animated, the famous Massimo Vignelli subway map. He combined real data from the MTA made available as part of their effort to encourage the creation of more third party transit apps for mobile phones and the internet. They were thinking more like HopStop, but this is certainly creative use.
Each time a train leaves the station in the MTA dataset, so does a dot on Chen's interactive map, trailing a line the color of the train line. The music comes in when two train lines cross. Each intersection causes a twang, like a plucked string on viola, for example--Chen's chosen instrument.
The data isn't 100 percent accurate though. The system has changed since 1972 when Vignelli made his map so Chen made the K train and the old Third Ave El train run as well. But only on a limited schedule.
See if you can tell what portion of the map is visible in the animation.