October 8, 2009

A follow up about tonight’s talk by Bill Brand at the Transit Museum in Brooklyn on his public art project Masstransiscope. Installed in 1980 in an abandoned subway station and restored in 2008, Masstransiscope basically creates a life-sized zoetrope through the interaction of the moving train and the positioning of the images, lights, and view holes.

This is a magical work of art that surprises and delights me every time I view it on the train, right up there with walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and seeing the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry.

Bill Brand is a filmmaker, film preservationist through his company BB Optics, and a teacher of filmmaking and preservation. I caught his talk on this back in June. Entertaining and informative about the mechanics of moving image devices like zoetropes, about his process for creating the work, and about the recent preservation process. Highly recommended to check this out or some of Bill’s other work.

—Joshua Ranger