Metro was recently honored with an award for excellence in sustainable building at the Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo for a 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 region. Located 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 a creative research process that included Metro’s Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library and Archive. With a studio in nearby Boyle Heights, they originally 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 a distinct viewing experience for years to come!
Categories: Metro Art