Project Transport Me is an initiative by interdisciplinary artist and writer Patrick Lydon
Using transportation as a common thread for cross-culture communication, Project Transport Me will document every station on the world’s largest metro systems using images, words, and audio.
A Local and Global Neighborhood
Globally, Project Transport Me shows that yes, we’re really all quite different, but in relatively small ways. The similarities are more striking, in a sense of living in any major urban world city, you’ll have people generally doing the same things througout their day, and the public transit system, most ubiquitously the subway, is both an example of one of these daily actions which hapens in cities across the world in very much the same way.
Yet the subway also provides us with a space to examine the micro actions within, so in a local sense, that’s where it is most relevant. We get into these trains with a whole bunch of others, some are from our neighborhood, from our ‘stop’ so to speak, but most are not. Yet, we form an instant ‘neighborhood,’ a very eclectic, always changing group of people who for 10, 20, 30 minutes, are sharing the same space. I liken it to a “mobile neighborhood” of sorts, and in fact, you do have many of these things that make a neighborhood: conversations, meetings, impromtu concerts, some sleeping going on, amorous situations, even some commerce, although it’s often illegal to conduct business on a train.
There’s a great deal we can learn from the photos in this project, both about our neighbors in a local sense, and in a global sense as well.
Of course, it’s about transportation, but transportation is more the vehicle in multiple senses, that gives us a chance to see all of these things happen.
Subway and commuter trains are modern day ‘mobile neighborhoods,’ each train car containing an interactive cross section of society. These neighborhoods are volatile however, the population and demographic of each one changing every time the doors slide open and familiar surroundings are filled with new faces. At each stop, a stream of passengers moves in and out, jostling, tip-toeing, grinning, grimacing. These mobile neighborhoods differ widely not only between each locale, but each line and each individual station.
Local subway lines are ridden from end to end, with images and audio samples taken each time the doors of the train open, documenting activity on trains as life happens and people are transported from place to place.
Taking a close look at the photographs, the viewer is allowed to examine in detail, an endless number of stories from train to train, city to city, country to country.
Audio / Video
Accompanying each image is a localized audio track, recorded simultaneously with the photography and then mixed to form a blanket of sound that changes as the viewer moves through various metro lines, cities, and neighborhoods. The following is a draft demo using images and audio gathered during short test runs in Tokyo and New York City.
And another audio track sample from Japan…