Get on board the art train
They’re calling it a mobile public art project – and it has people talking.
Challenged to use media to promote the environment, students from U of T’s Knowledge Media Design Institute, part of the Faculty of Information, prototyped a smart phone application called tetAtet.
Working with partners at Go Transit and artists from No.9 — an organization that uses art and design to bring awareness to environmental concerns — the students then launched a train car dubbed “Art Train Conductor No.9.”
It’s a place where riders can discuss urban, environmental and transit issues via the new mobile app, which can be downloaded by scanning QR codes on the train’s interior.
“This is the train car that KMDI, the iSchool and the U of T helped develop as part of our commitment to educating about contemporary social and climate issues,” says former Director of KMDI's Collaborative Program, Joseph Ferenbok.
Earlier this year, No. 9 accepted student prototypes aimed at encouraging creative thinking to resolve environmental issues and promote a sustainable lifestyle.
Through an integrated Twitter feed, GO riders can respond to issues raised in a collection of video clips featuring a cross section of diverse and informed individuals from the Toronto area and beyond speaking exclusively within the tetAtet forum. The video segments focus on subjects such as intelligent urban planning, strengthening the public voices of individual citizens, environmental concerns, mobility, sustainable living, and building sustainable cities.
New video content will be introduced weekly to ignite discussion around urban planning, transit issues, environmental concerns and similar topics, and tetAtet will promote commuter interaction via the Twitter feed. The app is available for Android phones, and is free for download at http://www.arttrain.no9.ca/
Multi-media artists Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins designed the train car exterior that features an abstract, brightly coloured vinyl wrap, while inside, posters and ceiling vinyl will have a similar look and feel to the exterior graphic.
The design of the train-wrap references artistic abstraction and camouflage in both the natural world and in the historical military sense through dazzle painting — and the role that pattern and abstraction play as a form of protecting, hiding, and cloaking explicit reality, the artists said. Within a contemporary context, these visual styles take on the form of a digital visual language, and symbolize a reality that is augmented through virtual space
GO riders can experience Art Train Conductor No.9, operating on various corridors of the GO Transit Greater Toronto and Hamilton area networks until December 1.