What happens between Point A and Point B?
Do you have a routine? A regular route? Do you ever deviate from your normal course, perhaps to take a shortcut or a scenic view?
If you’re running late, do you know a faster way to get there?
What is your favorite subway line?
What is your least favorite subway line?
Do you ever miss a stop because you are distracted or sleeping?
What do you do while you’re waiting for the next train? Do you listen to music on your headphones? Do you pace around the subway stop? Do you people watch? Do you talk on your phone? Do you sit or do you stand?
Do you have a pass or do you purchase a ticket for each ride?
Have you ever witnessed a crime?
Have you ever been scared while walking underground alone?
When you are with a group, do you like to be the navigator/leader or do you follow the herd?
Do you take the stairs or the elevator or the escalator?
If you hear a train coming, do you run in order to try and catch it?
Have you ever been on a train that was delayed more than just a few moments?
Has a train ever gone dark or had a power failure during your trip?
Do you carry a route map?
Do you give money to people who ask for it on the train?
Do you enjoy when musicians play at subway stations and on the train?
Do you know all the free transfer stations?
Are you prone to eat or drink during your ride?
Have you ever given up your seat for someone?
If a train is full will you wait for the next one or squeeze and push your way in?
Do you like the window seat?
Do you fear germs on the subway rails?
Pedestrian movement is a mindless activity that occurs among a great portion of the global population. In order for us to seek technological transport we must always walk to the desired mode, sometimes a few feet, sometimes much more than that.
Though mostly a relatively solitary experience, traveling by underground or subway or train (whatever term that is used) is a remarkably social experience. People from all over are all heading in the same direction, at least momentarily, all for their respective functions.
There is interaction at times and the bait of social graces can highlight a trip to the theater, to work or to the ballpark. There are the seemingly exhibitionist and the obvious voyeuristic. There are the ones on auto-pilot and the ones who are clueless.
There is a motif to the movement that is characteristic of a subway traveler. There are idioms that are derivative to this commonplace form of travel. There are the simple forms of walking, running, bending, sitting, and other more specific motions that stem from emotions sparked by the travel experience, i.e. anxiety, fear, impatience, elation, confusion, frustration, consternation, anger…
A single trip from one subway station to the next can effect one’s entire day. Whether they see something extraordinary or arrive late or trip and fall over something…
When you look at a subway map it looks like a technically inspired central nervous system, connecting so many things through the correlation of destinations. Various colors are used in order to prescribe each journey with its own distinct experience. North, south, east and west, these metal machines transport people to the next part of their lives. Any disruption in service can have an immense effect on that particular geographical mortal coil.
What do we look like when we are moving to the next point in our lives? How do our bodies react to the spaces specific to subway travel? How do we change physically and emotionally from the stresses of the transport environment?