Trip Through Time in New York City

Using a MIDI keyboard as an interactive interface, and Isadora to program the projection, this installation allows you to have a seat and take a trip through time in the historic New York subway system. After visiting the Transit museum I took a few photographs at the angle which you would see when sitting inside the train. I then photoshopped the windows to be see through so I could bring those files into Isadora and project archival footage street and underground scenes as though it were happening out the windows.

Trolley background

A photograph of a photograph of the inside of Brooklyn’s above ground trolly cars, circa 1880’s.

Old subway no background

A 1930’s underground train.

Subway no background

Inside of a 1950’s era subway.

70's subway background

Subway car with a 1970’s era interior — still in use today!

newer subway no background

Modern MTA subway car.

A trip through time

Now that I have my MIDI keyboard working with Isadora, I had a good idea for an installation based on the passage of time viewed from an old train. I plan on visiting the Transit Museum in Brooklyn to take a, possibly panoramic, picture of the inside of an old train with the a good view of the windows from inside. Then, using the piano keys, I’d generate different video’s of interesting landscapes and such happening outside the window. Depending on what key you press, a different video will play. With the knobs on the keyboard, I plan on altering sound or certain parts of the videos, live. Using found footage on youtube of old cable car rides through Brooklyn and abandoned subway stations throughout the tri-state area, I’ll make an interactive subway ride traveling through time.

Final Proposal – Inspiration & Ideas

While thinking about what I want to do for my final I came across this amazing video using video mapping and an amazing dancer.

I’d like to incorporate music — possibly the song “Summertime” by Janis Joplin since it’s been in my head ever since this class started.  In order to include aspects of live music I assume I’ll have to use a MIDI interface of some kind. I found the video below to help me with that kind of set up.

Maybe I could do a live manipulation of that song that visualizations. Otherwise, I think I’ll expand this idea to include a live instrument perhaps. I like the idea of projection mapping and I wonder how I could include that in my performance. It would be interesting to use a person as a blank slate and map on certain images to their body while moving. Or something like this:

On the other hand, I really enjoy some performance art pieces that involve the audience so I may want to incorporate that aspect somehow. One thing I need to know is what my limitations are with Isadora. I want to use this program primarily but I’m not sure what I can and cannot do with it in terms of musical interfaces and projection mapping.