Saturday, November 6, 2010 | Posted by Alex
LJ Frezza — 2nd place $250
Describe your idea.
“SkyLight” is an ongoing public art project that will take place on the red line of the MBTA. I intend to use a cell phone camera to record video of the sky along the train’s route (from a car). Then, using a small battery powered projector and a video ipod, I will ride along the line and project that video onto the ceiling of the train car, creating a sort of virtual skylight. The idea came from my observations riding the T, noticing that passengers generally spend their time avoiding eye contact and trying to separate themselves from their commute. It’s almost taken for granted that we (as citizens of a contemporary US city) now find ourselves increasingly disconnected from our immediate surroundings. Public transit technologies cause us to focus on destination rather than the areas between our points of departure and arrival, and contemporary telecommunications technologies increasingly connect us to information over large distances at the cost of attention to our immediate environment. By projecting a video of the sky as it appears above the train, I hope to ground the audience in their physical location beyond the train car—and by presenting a public spectacle, I hope to make viewers more aware of their shared experience as passengers on the MBTA. Utilizing a cell phone, ipod, and train car as my primary media, I hope to draw passengers on the T into a form of participatory spectatorship. The focus of the project isn’t merely the image itself, but also the reactions of its participant/spectators and, in a sense, “SkyLight” is as much a social experiment as an art project.
How will you use your grant?
This project requires the purchase of a small, battery powered video projector, estimated at $200–$250 as well as a portable video player, (an iPod nano, specifically), estimated at $150.
What is the expected status of your project by the next Feast?
I plan to begin recording video of the red line in the following weeks, and I should be actively riding the line end to end (projecting video along the way) two to three times a week by the end of the month, and I plan to continue with the project for the next six months or so.