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Art While You Wait

Bus Top are making waiting for the bus a cultural experience

Written by . Published on January 13th 2012.


Art While You Wait

GRAFFITI on walls, slogans on T-shirts, chalk drawings on pavements, no longer confined to the traditional restraints of galleries, art can be found almost everywhere in London. Further challenging the conventions of public spaces is the unlikely canvas of a bus shelter, chosen as a gallery space for digital art.

Bus Tops, a UK-wide digital art project will see art displayed on top of 30 bus stops in 20 London boroughs as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Funded by Arts Council England, the project is a collaboration between Transport For London (TFL) and nine leading contemporary artists. Local communities and the general public have also been invited to take part in the transformation of the everyday London commute by submitting their work on the Bus Tops website for consideration.

Among the professional artists chosen to design the digital art is Turner Prize-nominated Mark Titchner, whose work will be the first to be displayed on ten bus stops starting this week.

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Framed with the trees cut down during the Olympic construction, the LED screens will project images up to those travelling on the top floor of London’s iconic double-decker bus. Travellers will be exposed to a series of 31 motivational slogans intended to provoke readers into action.

"Throughout our daily lives, we constantly absorb images and texts that tell us we can be more than we are, this project is an attempt to present this phenomenon in its most blunt form, as a series of inspirational, potentially unobtainable commands. It is a disembodied voice, both nurturing and humbling.”

Hoping to bring whimsy, a sense of oddity and to invoke something deeper in Londoners on their mundane daily commute, Mark Titchner’s messages flash ‘Act or be Acted Upon’ and ‘If you don't like your life, you can change it’.

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He explains, 31 Day Programme is an evolving series of messages and motivational challenges. Daily changing animations invite the viewer to reflect on their aspirations and potential, framed in the language of advertising and motivational books.”

WorkshopWorkshop

The project aims to be the most publicly engaging art schemes in London. Artistic directors Aflie Dennen and Paula Le Dieu said of the project: “Bus-Tops aims to challenge conventions in public art by inviting the public to create and curate art that speaks for and of them. We hope that, by putting the discourse back into public hands, we can delight, provoke and inspire bus travellers as they gaze out their top deck windows.”

Bus Tops runs until September 2012

To make a submission visit www.bus-tops.com

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