Riders on the Train Project

RIDERS on the TRAIN Project

RIDERS on the TRAIN Project unveils a community of mass transit riders who learn to navigate the tricky boundaries between private and public space by retreating into their inner worlds. Artists and writers within this group often function, simultaneously, as listeners, audience, and participants in their own narratives. All capacities are collapsed into one in the layered time and space of the subway ride.
In this pervasive sensorium, these artist/riders coax the poetics from the personal. They sketch, examine, record, collaborate, and – some of them – interact with fellow riders. They delve into new technologies of mobile communication mingling high and low technology. In this respect, they “sample” their ride while generating an aggregate experience of mass transit. Exploring a diversity of lenses and media, they forge new neural pathways through video, sound art, photography, web-based interactivity, performance, installation, and writing.

While the contributors to the exhibition ‘Riders on the Train’ attempt to immerse the audience into the ersatz mobile community they participate in, they also present a unique opportunity to elevate the mundane daily routine of riding the train with their rich and intimate inner lives that thrive, although silently, during the ride. These commuter/artists have taken what was once a repressed necessity of their daily lives (a means to travel physically from one place to another) and reframed their experiences by making art, sound, and poetry. Within the context of this show, every mile of motion that might be discounted in the necessary of the journey becomes the life of the journey itself.

The ‘Riders on the Train’ Exhibition seeks to frame this temporary time and space of locomotion as a fluid and generative place for imagination. Artists and writers, who ride mass transit, explore these experiences – and the result is an exquisite coalescence of alternative neural pathways laid paralleling a collectively well-worn track. A shared system emerges from this synaptic dance of trains, bodies, and imagination. (from the ‘Curator’s Statement’)