The Subway Project and some remarks on the Activist Technology Demo Day at Eyebeam

The Subway Project


The Subway Project


The Subway Project  developed by Ava Ansari and Andrew Quitmeyer is a “virtual dance protest” in the artists’ own words.

For the project, Ava Ansari recorded herself dancing  at a subway stop in NY, where acting weird or dancing and singing  are seen as perfectly normal, if not cool. However, being an Iranian artist, she said it is not possible to dance in public in Iran since it is considered as taboo.

The artists divided her subway dance performance into seconds and poses. The app they created for the project assigns one of her poses to each user of the app, and the user participates by reenacting her pose, taking picture of her/himself and then by uploading it. Later, the data will be collected and edited to create a crowd-sourced version of her NY subway stop performance.

I think it is a poetic and creative project to draw attention to communities where people’s actions and behaviors are heavily regulated by either governments or the public itself. Going to Turkey for two weeks in the winter break, I remember saying to myself in the subway, “why is everybody so calm and less interesting today?” I am also interested in this project because of its crowd-sourcing aspect.

I also want to make a remark about the panel that took place at Eyebeam. During the talk, issues of “poetics” and “playfulness” of the activist technologies and civic media were brought up. I think these issues are worthy of more consideration.

Wish Tree for Zucotti Park

Lastly, I want to share Occupy With Art project. They made a collaboration with Yoko Ono, expanding her Wish Tree piece to Zucotti Park. Yesterday I met Tilda Swinton who is frequently casted by queer filmmakers. I think she is the kind of person who would be willing to be involved in a project on gender and sexuality.

Categories: Reflective Posts


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  1. Performance Art as the medium of the oppressed | Civic Media + Tactical Design in Contested Spaces - February 7, 2012

    […] Ava Ansari and Andrew Quitmeyer – The Subway Project. See my previous post here. […]

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