Digital Art Installation Series
WMATA's Art in Transit Program inaugurated the Digital Art Installation Series program in 2020. AIT launched a call to artists to create original digital artworks for Metro's digital displays at the following stations - Crystal City, Farragut North, NoMa-Gallaudet U, Gallery Place - Chinatown, L'Enfant Plaza, and Metro Center. The digital artworks are presented at various times throughout the year.
View the digital animation of Righting Reflex (2021).
Righting Reflex is a series of four short digital animations that depict animated cats floating through a celestial field of stars and galaxies. The installation simultaneously explores the enduring appeal of cats in art and popular culture and their unexpected role in scientific exploration.
Material used in the video was drawn from multiple sources, including “Falling Cat” (1894), an early motion study of a cat falling and landing on its feet by French scientist Étienne-Jules Marey, Andy Warhol’s inky cat drawings in his 1988 artist’s book, and NASA’s space images. Righting Reflex recombines images from these disparate sources, ruminating on the viral allure of a perennial Internet celebrity, and the absurdity sometimes encountered at the limits of knowledge.
View the digital animation of Celebrating DC’s Brutes (2021).
Nathan Gamson realized versions of Celebrating DC’s Brutes for each of the 20 digital screens located at Metro stations.
The digital animations are inspired by the Robert C. Weaver Federal Building (Department of Housing and Urban Development), and its futuristic circular canopies. Designed by architect Marcel Breuer, the building is known for its Brutalist architecture. Nathan Gamson stated that “With Celebrating DC’s Brutes, I want to reinterpret Brutalism’s reception by transforming a façade into a vibrant, pixelated display.” Coincidentally, the building is located catty-corner from the new WMATA DC Headquarters at L’Enfant Plaza.
View the digital animation of Return to the Arts (2021).
Return to the Arts depicts the Gallery Place-Chinatown metro station and neighborhood and celebrates the District diversity and art scene.
Dominick Rabrun stated that "It’s incredibly surreal to have my artistic expression displayed in Metro stations creating portraits of a range of riders was invaluable. Learning to hone my drawing skills through my animated piece Return to the Arts is a tribute to the metro’s impact on my growth as an artist."
View the digital animation of Variegata Expanded (for Washington) (2021).
Variegata Expanded (for Washington) is comprised of three short digital animations featuring three different plants. They are intended to create a relaxing, contemplative environment at the stations where the artworks are displayed.
Pascual Sisto wrote “I hope the work will bring a much-needed reclamation of nature into the Metrorail system. The video animations are intended to create a simulated virtual garden resembling the chosen flora. The chromatic patterns expand beyond their boundaries, spreading to all the monitors and tunnels of the Washington Metro system by means of these video dioramas.”