Subway Transfer (2004)
Kika Thorne

White vinyl lettering, TTC platforms across Toronto.

I proposed to place multiple language directions on the LRT platforms. Using City of Calgary Statistics, backed up by community workers at LINC and CCIS, I chose the languages of recent refugees, non-status and migrant workers: Chinese, Russian, Tagalog, Punjab, Farsi and Urdu. (These languages are fairly constant across the major metropolitan areas of Canada). On the day of installation, the Calgary Transit Authority pulled their approval for the project, citing the spectre of bad press. The translations were published in this zine and placed on the LRT for passengers to take. After abundant community dialogue, I brought the white vinyl back to my home town and placed it in the TTC, quietly, over a period of 4 months. Documentation of the intervention was inserted into a vinyl transfer of the TTC map (9’ x 12’) in the front window of the Toronto Free Gallery, Fall 2004.

Supported by Open Source City, Interaccess and Artcity. Open Source City: Amanda Ramos and Kathleen Pirrie Adams at Interaccess commissioned 4 artists to test civic emotional receptivity. In fall of 2003, I was invited by Artcity curator Tom Strickland to make an artwork for the Calgary LRT. Research by Tom Strickland + Emily Hogg, documentation by Adrian Blackwell, text edits with Amish Morrell. Public exhibition in the storefront of Toronto Free Gallery 9' x 12' Fall 2004, curated by Heather Haynes.

 

Subway Transfer (2004), Downsview  Station (Southbound), Kika Thorne