Short videos, presented across the entire Los Angeles County Metro bus system, will share diverse perspectives on Los Angeles, as seen through the creative eyes of its young people for its 4400 existing TV screens on public buses.
WHAT 40 short videos by LA youth will be shown on all 2200 L.A. Metro buses
WHERE all routes of LA Metro buses over 4000 sq miles of LA County
WHO 75 high school students recently made the videos with artist teachers at Echo Park Film Center and with Public Matters at East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy and Pilipino Workers Center; coordinated by Freewaves with the conceptual and technical direction of UCLA REMAP
WHEN 5 minutes of every half hour from 6 am until midnight, every weekday June 13-17, and 45 minutes of every hour over Saturday June 18 and Sunday June 19, 2011
HOW Transit TV is donating use of their interactive TV system for the youth to screen their videos and question 1.2 million daily riders via text messages.
WHY The newest innovation on the public media spectrum brings meaningful art and relevant topics to and from LA Metro’s underserved ridership while public media declines.
The project links physical and virtual worlds through digital media portraits of places, offering views from different neighborhoods up to the city and region at large. Out the Window aims to create a mosaic of the many social, cultural, economic and creative layers of this complex American city. In reply, bus riders can text responses instantly or eventually to location-specific and thematic questions posed on the screens by youths, artists or community curators.
Since Fall 2010, youth in Echo Park, Historic Filipinotown and East Los Angeles have been participating in a collaborative learning community, specifically designed to build digital media communication skills, including storytelling, technical media skills, social networking and critical thinking. Specifically, they are writing and producing one to three minute videos exploring aspects of community and place, to be seen on over 2,200 buses traversing Los Angeles County.
The videos will be shown hourly on Metro buses over a week in June (6/13-6/19, 2011) and will be archived on the project website, www.out-the-window.org. Additionally, the website will provide resources, like media art centers where anyone can learn how to create digital media and ways to comment and submit videos for future screenings on the buses.
“Place is the new identity politics. The youth in Out the Window examine this subject anew hopefully in dialogue with fellow commuters, 91% of who say they like art,” says Anne Bray, Executive Director of Freewaves, LA’s public media arts organization.
The bus context
The Metro buses crisscross Los Angeles’ diverse neighborhoods and social boundaries, passing unique, local cultural resources. Out the Window targets people and places where even the web doesn’t always reach. Sixty-nine percent of Metro riders live in households making $26,000 or less a year. Thirty-three percent of riders have no or rare access to the Internet, yet most riders have cell phones, which they use to text as well as call. Out the Window’s partners believe the riders represent a population who should be no less served by the telecommunication innovations that have emerged in the last decade. The videos and questions produced for Out the Window are created with this complex audience in mind.
The videos produced by youth working with Echo Park Film Center are called The Sound We See: A Los Angeles City Symphony. Participating teacher Angelo J. Pompano says, “City Symphonies are motion pictures that capture the spirit and uniqueness of a city by assembling images of everyday life in that city. These abstract images of the city capture its heartbeat and expose its soul.” Over twelve weeks, teens and their artist-teachers explore the origins of the City Symphony and its contemporary relevance as students create their own 24-hour cinematic celebration of the dynamic metropolis that is Los Angeles.
Public Matters is working with two groups of high school aged students. Students from the East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy are creating videos around healthy food access issues in their community including a series Have You Noticed? /Té Has Fijado? Students from Pdub Productions, a project in conjunction with Pilipino Workers Center, are creating pieces that explore Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown including a series entitled Hidden Hi Fi about the unknown, unexplored and unexpected facets of life in Historic Filipinotown. An additional series will explore the students’ own personal stories of immigration and migration.