The installation qualitatively improves the experience of public transport users by making the waiting time more exciting.
This permanent project was conducted by Chilean artist Tania Ruiz in 2010 at the Central Railway Station in Malmö (Sweden). The action is part of a larger-scale project undertaken by the administration of the City Tunnel (Citytunneln), infrastructure to which this station belongs, in collaboration with the Swedish National Public Art Council. The overall project was born from the decision to eliminate advertising in all areas of the tunnel and replace it with art installations.
“The Citytunneln administration views installation art as a strategic ally since it believes that it can actively contribute towards the well-being of its users. This, then, encourages the use of public transport and reduces traffic in private cars, effects which are fully in keeping with the Malmö urban plan which strives for economic and ecological sustainability.”
In this line, the “Elsewhere” installation makes the waiting time until the arrival of the train more exciting, improving the experience of the public transport user.
“Elsewhere is a multi-projection video art work which seeks to transform the reinforced concrete landscape of the Malmö C underground station into a wide open space.”
“Through a projection device that evokes the perceptual experience from the train, the viewers will be invited to lose themselves in images during their wait. The projections acting as windows, the station itself becomes a train that loses its spatial and temporal rails, itinerant across the earth.”
Although sometimes this kind of artistic projects may seem anecdotal or irrelevant, they are actually able to positively affect the quality of the urban space and enhance citizens’ perception of the city and its infrastructures.
In this sense, the administration of the City Tunnel proves to be aware that the improvement of public transport should not be exclusively focused on quantitative criteria (distance to station, frequency, punctuality, speed…), but also on qualitative aspects that significantly affect citizens’ decision on what means of transport they want to use.
“In terms of tempo, [‘Elsewhere’] is conceived as a release for the individual viewer. The recorded images are slowed down, in contrast with the speed of everyday urban life, in order to ease the experiential flow of time”.