Slow-Motion Subway Ride Gives a Mindful Glimpse of the Present

What takes 12 seconds in reality is slowed down to 12 minutes of video, allowing viewers a chance to see people moving very, very slowly as they are about to board. It’s hypnotic, an everyday occurrence made surreal.

Thirty thousand photos are uploaded to the internet every minute, according to Buzzfeed. And as a result we’re spending more time really appreciating each…and… every…one. Slowly savoring the images.

Not so much.

Adam Magyar, a Berlin-based photographer, says we don’t spend much time looking at still photos, since “we’ve gotten used to understanding the message quickly. But we tend to look longer and think more deeply about moving images.” So, to entice us to spend more time appreciating, he has started doing super slo-mo video—using software he developed to capture stunning images with a clarity never before achieved.

In his project Stainless, Magyar pointed his camera out the window of subway trains. In high-definition black and white, he filmed people waiting on platforms in Berlin, New York, and Tokyo as trains pulled into stations. What takes 12 seconds in reality is slowed down to 12 minutes of video, allowing viewers a chance to see people moving very, very slowly as they are about to board. It’s hypnotic, an everyday occurrence made surreal.

“In all my work, I’m always talking about the present,” he says. “We are always dreaming about the past and anticipating the future, and that keeps us busy. I’m trying to show the preciousness of now.”

Magyar chose subway platforms because when we’re there we’re waiting to go somewhere else, “in a hurry, not paying attention to the mundane details around us. We want to accelerate time and just get to our destination, but our time is so short to waste any of it. That’s what I want people to think about: this moment in time and how little time we’re given.”

This web extra provides additional information related to an article titled, “Video Artist Prolongs the Present,” which appeared in the August 2014 issue of Mindful magazine.

Subscribe to Mindful‘s print edition or digital edition.

x