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Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram.
By Alexander Chen, Creative Director at Google Creative Lab in New York.
Chen began doing musical and interactive work in 2002 with Sonata for the Unaware, a piece which generated music from video footage of Philadelphia subway commuters. In 2011, Chen launched MTA.ME, which transformed a New York subway map into a string instrument. This personal work led to the conception of the Les Paul Doodle, a Google doodle with generated 5.1 years worth of shared music around the world. In 2012, Chen led the creative team behind the Project Glass concept video and has continued to work closely on Glass since then.