Screenshot from “The Blowing Bowler” (2015)
A new stop-motion animated short film by Chris Sickels will depict the development and history of the New York City’s subway car design at Fulton Center, presented by MTA Arts & Design. The short, The Blowing Bowler, follows a man as he chases after his wind-tossed bowler hat in a subway. While pursuing the hat, “a progression of subway cars rolls by representing designs from the Beach Pneumatic Transit Company (1870s), Interborough Rapid Transit Company (1910s), a second generation R-10 car (1940s), a R-15 car (1950s), a car from the 1970s State of the Art Car Program (SOAC), and a more recent R-188 subway car (2013).”
Fulton Center, which is a hub for the 2/3/4/5/A/C/J/Z lines, is a fitting home for the installation, considering Sickels’ inspiration for the film was the “continuous movement of MTA riders,” according to the short’s press release. Sickels says,“We are all chasing something, maybe the chase is more important than the catch. I encourage folks to enjoy the journey.” Three short loops follow the main story that similarly depict the “cat-and-mouse” hustle of the New York City Transit system.
The animation will be projected on both a large-scale 52- channel video installation and in the Dey Street pedestrian tunnel that connects to the R line.