NYC Artists Asked to Use MetroCard as Medium

Arts & Culture

METRO AR-T app will reimagine the iconic card in an interactive gallery

Simone Spilka
  • 11 august 2014

The NYC Metrocard is the staple accessory for almost any New York commuter; reportedly, over five million people use the iconic card daily. A new app METRO AR-T is set to transform the card into a digital canvas for a range of the city’s artists. The project, envisioned by a group of art directors, designers and developers, will showcase artists’ work on the public transport accessory which travels from borough to borough using augmented reality technology in an interactive gallery.

MetroCards from selected artists will be exhibited using multiple layers, blend modes and frame-by-frame animation using the METRO AR-T app. Subsequent to the app, the gallery will exist online, and potentially in an offline exhibit.

METRO AR-T marks the first time the Metrocard has been approved as a creative medium for the public, though artists have long been inspired to make collages out of discarded transportation cards. For almost a decade, Nina Boesch spent hours cutting up subway tickets to create mosaics of famous landmarks and portraits. Her works of art can contain up to 5,000 individuals pieces of Metrocards collected by the artist, friends & family.

In Melbourne, a local artist decorated public transportation cards with pictures of animals, paint and glitter for free in a service called ‘Pimp My Myki.’ The handcrafted design offered riders the chance to spice up their cards with a personalized collage, until the Official Public Transport of Victoria caught on and advised commuters against the trend. METRO AR-T is an opportunity to give public transportation cards a makeover, with approval from the council.

To apply, NYC artists can submit their artwork title & description, basic bio information, and the NYC subway line they ride the most. The app is set to launch in September and will celebrate the city’s creatives.


MetroCard Collages / Pimp My Myki

+augmented reality
+mobile app
+Public Transportation

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