MTA 7th & Metro Platform

Chance Encounters II: Icons

Chance Encounters II: Film Dust

Chance Encounters II: Green Numbers

Chance Encounters II: Korean Characters

Chance Encounters I: Jerome/Luis

Chance Encounters I: Clarissa/Krystal

Chance Encounters, 2002

A computer generated installation presented on video displays at the 7th and Metro Subway station platforms in Los Angeles, as part of the Experimental Art for Riders program. The theme of the installation is the chance encounter potential of the subway environment, passengers' thoughts while waiting, and a collection of objects they might carry with them.

Chance Encounters: 1st Installment (summer 2002)
"Chance Encounters" consists of animated visual and Spanish, English text segments that are programmed in random sequence by a database. The project takes as its starting point the often heard expressions "ships passing in the night", or "chance encounters". These quotes function to address the situation of passengers moving past each other in a public transitional space, being in close proximity without the intention of making personal contact with each other. The first installment takes the above topic by juxtaposing two names, collected from cultural communities the subway line services, next to each other on the screen, one chosen alphabetically, the other randomly. At some point, the names are erased by colorful textures.

The intention of the work is to provide some visual stimulus and cultural connection (for instance, the search and encounter of passengers' own names on the screen) that might provide the passengers a momentary personal engagement to the short-lived experience of passing through what Marc Auger calls "non-places", public spaces that we traverse on our way from point A to point B.

Thoughts While Waiting: 2nd Installment (Fall 2002)
The 2nd installment consists of phrases presented in sequence of things one might think of while waiting in the station. These texts function like chinese fortune cookies, conventional but possibly useful in bringing a thought to mind. After a short time, the screen gets erased by random particles similar to "film noise".

Objects & Time: 3rd Installment (Early Winter 2002/2003)
The third installation consists of a continuous sequence of images of objects that one might carry while commuting on the subway. The computer first decides on a topic from the database: Watches, Toys, Pens, Magazines, Maps, Clothes, Shoes, Electronics, Rings, Tickets, Hats Caps, Hands, Heads, Pictures photos, Hair holders, Glasses, Books, Keys keyholders, Cell Phones, Money, Notebooks, empty, Purses Bags, Cards, Necklaces, Bracelets, empty, ID Cards, Cameras, Cans bottles, Flashlight, Notes sketches, Tissue Paper, Miscellaneous, Food candies, Cigarettes lighters, Feet, Locks, Tools, Medecine, Mugs, Make-up, Boxes, Wrapping paper. This is then followed by a selected set of 6 objects presented on screen with the time, 02:12:26:34:12, given numerically beginning with the year to the month, day, minute and second. The database of objects was collected in Paris, France in 2001.

Video displays spread across the platforms of this station receive their signal from a computer which generates real-time visualization from databases.