A train-turned “kinetic light sculpture” with a curated passenger list is somewhere between Kansas City and Sante Fe by now. Station to Station, brainchild of experimental artist Doug Aitken and sponsored by Levi’s deep pockets, is “a nomadic happening”. And whatever is happening will happen in a total of ten cities across the country, through the efforts of the multi-media artists on board and the general public meeting up with them along the way.
That Memphis isn’t on the itinerary could ostensibly be written off as a routing issue. The passenger line that hits Bluff City follows the Mississippi River from New Orleans, passing St. Louis, then veers off to Chicago and back before returning down river. (If only someone would revisit Banvard’s Folly, but as a riverboat rock-and-booze cruise!) Of course, if your city isn’t on the selected rails, you can still take part by dipping into the project’s depthless online presence: A Tumblr – endlessly refreshed – with blog entries and 140 character Twitter wit (twit!?), plus loads of slick video: Snippets of railway ennui, momentary “jam sessions”, and capsular pre-recorded interviews of the map’s cultural doers. All the trappings of all that’s happening. Continue reading