Metro artists share inspiration for artwork in newly released video

Metro was recently honored with an award for excellence in sustainable building at the Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo for Metro facility in downtown Los Angeles. One prominent feature of the facility is an artwork, titled Getting There, mounted on the exterior façade and created by Ball-Nogues Studio.  

Go behind the scenes with the artists, Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues, in this newly released video providing insight into their creative process and inspiration for the artwork. 

As the artists explain, buses and rail cars are rendered as colorful shadows on the side of the building, alluding to the history of transportation in the regionLocated on South Santa Fe Avenue in the Arts District, the work calls attention to the evolution of a dozen transportation systems–past present and future — within the corridor and greater L.A. County. 

The work is made up of 30,000 acrylic chips attached to custom metal panels and, over the course of a day, the reflected imagery of the colored pixels” moves, fades and snaps back into legibility. This visual journey through 100+ years of mass transit history also alludes to the visual quality of video games. The orientations and pixelation allow each train and bus to emerge and disappear independently, a reference to historical emergence and disappearance of the vehicles over time. 

During the creation of this commission, Ball and Nogues paired their personal knowledge of the area with creative research process that included Metro’s Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library and ArchiveWith a studio in nearby Boyle Heightstheoriginally met as students at the Southern California Institute of Architecture(“SCI-Arc” is currently located three blocks north in the old 1907  Santa Fe Freight Depot building), and had careers in film and architecture before starting their artistic partnership and returning to SCI-Arc to lecture

Take a look at the video to hear how Getting There juxtaposes past and future, movement and stasis, to create distinct viewing experience for years to come! 

2 replies

  1. Metro is saying they are out of money because of reduced sales tax. My wife is not getting the normal raise because Metro has frozen non-contract salaries. I know other metro employees that seem to be taking advantage of the system and getting paid to be at home further draining funds. Where did you magically find money for this project?

    • Hi Someone Has to Ask;

      If there is something happening that is not right, I suggest your wife speak to her supervisor at work as a first step. The agency is not “out of money.” We are facing a budget deficit in the future if (in particular) sales tax revenues do not increase and/or we do not get further stimulus help from the federal government to help cope with the pandemic.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source