Transient



Project Description

a series of 40-second video installations infiltrating NYC taxicabs, Sept. 9-15 2010

Artist Statement

Transient is intended as an ephemeral gift, foregrounding the possibilities of liminal states. I sought to capture, challenge and transform the everyday modalities of New York City cab rides by interrupting Taxi TV's regular programming flow in 6,300 taxicabs (viewed by approximately 1.5 million passengers). Using the technology against itself, Transient solicits focus in a space marked by dispersed attention and invisible human boundaries. Comprised of shots of a driver's steady gaze in the rear-view mirror or through the grainy, often-stained plexiglass partitions, the incisive videos take the experiential disjuncture between the driver and passenger as their point of departure. It was not my intention to make a humanist statement, but rather to create a space of introspection.

The yellow taxicab presents a striking paradox: the car itself is one of the most visible icons of New York City, while its drivers, many of whom are minorities, seem invisible. Recent media reports have inundated commuters with articles portraying taxicab drivers as an “other” class, erroneously intimating that some three quarters of all drivers actively prey on their fare. Even though these reports have since been reassessed and somewhat retracted, they have created a climate of distrust. My reactive installations emerged from this context.

In collaboration with AME Projects. Founded by Nazy Nazhand, AME Projects is an on-going program dedicated to promoting contemporary visual artists exploring the subtle dynamics of race, identity and nationality.