Big City Subway by Max Hautala

MEDIUM: Video / Film

“Big City Subway” I lived in New York City in the summer of 2018. While I lived there, I would ride the train and see people interacting with the space around them. Their attention would be focused on their cellphone. I don’t blame them, public transportation can be stressful and staring at a screen can ease discomfort. It was inspiring to see all of the different people who each have their own individual stories.

In my design, I deconstruct social norms, such as the ethics of consumption, pollution, and their effect on our humanity and well-being. My hope is that a dialogue will form within the viewer which will allow people to realize how social norms are programmed or mapped onto us through the passive consumption of advertisements and the subversive nature of mass media. My work reflects my lived experiences, and translates them into accessible images. I use symbols such as the computer screen to reflect the instant gratification that is achieved while using Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Woodcut as a medium resists the reliance on the digital world, but also acknowledges that printmaking is the forerunner to digital media and digital communication.