By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
In her survey, when Bray asked riders if they would like to see videos by teens on Transit TV, only 24 percent said they would; 44 percent wanted artists' videos. "Out the Window" gives them both.
Students from the Echo Park Film Center filmed across L.A.'s downtown, canyons and tar pits in gorgeous black-and-white. A soundtrack by local classical musicians accompanies the otherwise silent footage. One lingering shot of Chinatown's Hop Louie bar has the allure of a noir thriller, while others recall early avant garde experiments. Even riders who don't care for arthouse are bound to appreciate the craft.
In addition, 200 professional artists submitted videos, and 30 have made the cut so far. "People is a big theme," Bray observes of those videos that work. In one, artist Micol Hebron drags a growing train of books through city streets and shopping malls. In another, Elana Mann, dressed in velvety black and wearing a life-sized donkey mask, gropes her way along a fence in South L.A. It looks wrong and dangerous, and echoes the quiet fixation "Out the Window" has on the freedom to move through spaces of your own choosing.
Picking which videos to screen posed a difficult challenge. "I love what I don't understand," Bray says. "But with public art, it has to be somewhere between accessibility and cliché."
The trick is to make sure it still provides some enlightenment. "If there's something unexpected on the screen, it makes you feel the whole institution of the city is open to play."
"Out the Window" videos will screen on Transit TV for five minutes an hour June 13-17, and for two 45-minute cycles a day June 18-19. The cycle repeats in October. The "Out the Window" team will be at ALOUD at the L.A. Public Library June 14 for the program We Are Here, We Could Be Everywhere.