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Sequencing the City

By Rhizome

Before there was Flash animation, there was the subway. Graffiti-covered trains are a distant prototype of digital motion graphics, animating colorful designs and text against a sliding urban backdrop. In his new 'Stop Motion Studies' series, David Crawford returns to the subway car as vehicle of expression, manipulating its interior time and space rather than its exterior surfaces. The result is an urban character study befitting our age of digital compression. Passenger emotions -- exhaustion, boredom, happiness -- are pared down to their most essential keyframes and played back in infinite, asymmetrical loops. Though motion is limited to a few degrees in Crawford's ticking snapshots, these subtle, personal moments are indeed moving.

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