Transients is a series of generative animations inspired by the notions of flow, ephemerality and transitory states. The underlying structure of these animations is a database created using GPS data from the Toronto public transit system. The data, available on the web through the Toronto Open Data portal, includes the location, routes and stops of every bus and streetcar in the system, as well as the arrival times of trains within underground subway stations. My software establishes an aesthetic framework for the data to unfold within, balancing artistic and algorithmic decisions alongside existing patterns within the data.
This work was curated by Sharon Switzer and was developed as a specially commissioned, site-specific installation for Pattison Onestop and Art for Commuters, in the context of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, an all-night contemporary art festival. Transients was exhibited on over 300 information screens operated by Pattison on subway platforms across the Toronto transit system. The work was presented without interruption, replacing the news and advertisements otherwise typically shown on these screens. The animations generated for this work had a total runtime of 12 hours, in order to coincide with the entire duration of the event.