Nevermind the Suitcase on the Side of the Train

Parasite guerilla train artYou know, artists always seem to be pushing the boundaries when it comes to public expression. And Parasite (QT vid) is definitely scoring up in the top ten for pushing that boundary, for a couple reasons:

“…Parasite is a projection-system that can be attached to subways and other trains. Using the speed of the vehicle as parameter for the projected content, the projection starts with the train moving inside a tunnel. All along their journey, travellers see images mysteriously appearing through the train windows: words, aquatic animals, etc. Confusing the routine of your train-travelling-journey, your habits and perception Parallel allows you a glimpse into a different world full of surrealist imagery….”

Now, call me crazy… but if I see a bald guy dressed in all black (or anyone dressed in any manner, really) sticking something on the side of a train and walking off, my first thought isn’t that it’s filled with yummy art goodness. Then again, maybe Berliners aren’t really worried about things like that.

This isn’t to say that the art isn’t very cool… and I’m betting advertisers will eat this up and start professionally installing these things on trains at some point. But at the same time, common sense would make me suspicious of some dude just sticking stuff on the side of a train and walking off.

[via Wooster Collective and We Make Money not Art]

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. Mike N.,

    Oh come off it, I think there’s a clear line on stuff like this where obvious suspicious behavior isn’t analogous to “everyone is a criminal.”

    Tell me if you saw someone doing this, you would just consider it any everyday event and wouldn’t wonder if maybe that wasn’t a bomb he just stuck on the side of a train.

    /common sense

  2. It is probably illegal to attach things to the side of public trains, so this person is probably actually a criminal. However, this whole attitude that everyone is suspicious becuase the government told me so nonsense is very scary. A man was recently maced to death by police in a town near me because he “looked suspicious”. He did nothing wrong, just didn’t fit some subjective description. The police were placed on paid leave. Fabulous.

  3. This person has no business holding a suitcase to trains! It infringes on public safety, a subject you people are very confused about. Public safety is a major concern today. Everyone is entitled to freedom, but there is no constitutional right stating that we are permitted to “hold a suitcase to a train”. There could have been a bomb in it for all we know. I know that if I was sitting in an electric train and someone was jeopardizing my safety and well-being, I’d be furious!

  4. SethWind… another brainwashed victim.

    A shoestring could be used to kill someone. Do shoestrings “infringe on public safety”? I don’t have a constitutional right to own and carry a shoestring? Or just not on trains, for they might be a bomb? What if the suitcase was full of clothes because this person was traveling on the train (imagine that)? Do we automatically assume that all people that carry suitcases when they travel are threats to YOUR safety? Is everyone guilty of being a threat to you simply because you are a paranoid product of government propaganda?

  5. Mike,
    You simply don’t get it. I don’t think shoestrings infringe on public safety. By the way, where did you come up with shoestrings? That is completely irrelevant!

    It is really not about what was in the suitcase, it is about how it was used. For the same reason, you can’t pack a kitchen knife in your child’s lunchbox. Why? Because it is a weapon. I know you all disagree, but I think that anything that jeopardizes public safety, in any way, is a major concern, especially today with all this terrorism.

    We all know how easy it was for the terrorists to hijack those planes on 9/11/01. They had box openers. That raises awareness of any suspicious activity that could possibly be harmful, if not fatal like that tragic day four years ago.

    If someone looks suspicious, they should be reprimanded and investigated because normal people don’t hold a suitcase to a train, they need to be institutionalized.

  6. Seth – So in your fascist world, not only would it be illegal to appear “suspicious” but these “suspicious” people would be institutionalized all because they don’t look and act like you? All this before they even violate anyone’s rights?


  7. From Seth

    We all know how easy it was for the terrorists to hijack those planes on 9/11/01

    Really? We know that for sure?
    It’s a funny thing, about those “terrorist”. Some of them were not only able to fly into the towers, but they then reported back to their regular jobs the next day.

    Like Mike has said… you’ve been trained well. Scared of the boogey man. Even Blair has admitted that Al Qaeda isn’t an organization, but more a “way of working”. Ahh, it’s like 1984 all over again. Fighting the unwinnable war against the undefinable enemy.

    You’ve been reading CNN and Fox news too much :)

  8. Everything is a potential threat to public safety. But we can’t ban everything. The world just isn’t safe. It never has been, even though they told you so, and it never will be. That’s an illusion a lot of people have to give up.

    Apart from that, this stunt could surely set off a couple off alarms, especially if done in a London tube. And because imitating a terror attack is not the goal of this project, it could turn the whole project into a fiasko (police storming the station, subways being shut down, getting arrested for possible terror attack). Good thing that didn’t happen in Berlin, because it turned out great!

  9. Yeah, yeah, security, liberty, terrorism…blah blah blah.

    I see this as a way to better fund public transit and put it towards the path to self-sustainability and maybe even [the libertarian dream] of privatization.

  10. I am glad the guy did this, and wish I had seen it, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t freak out if I saw him install a suitcase on the side of my train.

    Suggesting that the first thing that pops into one’s mind seeing a suitcase attached to a train is art, especially in the wake of the London bombings, is disingenuous at best.