Oct 11, 2009

Openings: CTA Meet Meat Train

My class (Installation, Materials, and Context with Amy Honchel) in collaboration with currator Allison Glen, developed a very successful installation for this weekend's AOT (Art on Track). AOT was founded last summer by an SAIC alumni and is a one of a kind event where 8 art organizations take over a CTA train car for 9 hours.

Our car, the Meet Meat Train, was inspired by the shared history of Chicago's transportation and meat industries. Our research found that the meat industry pushed for public transit in Chicago and once it was built they used to transport meat from the butchers to the meat packers. Before the transit was constructed meat processors had to use the services of private national train companies which charged extremely high tariffs. Butchers were able to utilize the train system at night and avoid tariffs. The downside was that the subways smelled like a meat packing factory.

We constructed soft sculptures of meat and broke up the space with panels of cloth. When this project was being developed we discussed how the CTA system still functions as a subversive space where people attempt to find lovers via Craigslist. To incorporate this contemporary context we printed actual missed connections in subtle locations throughout the train.

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