The Newly Vandalized Masstransiscope


Here’s a non-controversial opinion: Masstransiscope, the piece of moving art in the abandoned Myrtle Avenue subway station seen when leaving Dekalb Avenue on the Q or B, is really, really great. Judging by the reaction of millions of riders young and old before me (and the guys in the video above), it’s not rare to love it.

Well, someone thought they could do better. It’s been tagged over. We’d heard about it a few days ago from Brownstoner and now here is the proof in pictures. As you can see, more than one person on the subway thought the graffiti was worth a photo.

Bill Brand, the artist behind Masstransiscope, made a site visit with the MTA Arts for Transit just yesterday, he said by email, “and we’re working on a restoration plan. Hopefully we’ll get back in full operation before too long.”

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  1. What the hell is wrong with people? That was the only cool thing about riding the subway. Hope the sh@t who did that is mighty pleased with himself (assuming him…are there any women graffiti idiots?).

  2. It was already vandalized somewhat for a while but this looks much worse. Do you know if there are any plans by the MTA to fix it up?

  3. I saw the destruction a few days ago.

    I have no problem with true graffiti artists, many actually create good work with spray cans. I do not consider “taggers” to be artists.

    What I could never understand is how anyone could place his/her version of “art” directly on top of another piece of art. How can this person be proud of doing that, especially when many people enjoyed the work that was damaged? A true artist will always find their own blank “canvas”.

    It appears that the parents/guardians of this person, or these people, did not do a good job rearing.

  4. Y’know, I realize Bill Brand has nothing to do with this, but I would enjoy Masstransiscope much more if I could actually see it working. Most times I ride the B or Q, we stop, just after leaving De Kalb and right next to Masstransiscope. So you get a little of the animation and then nothing for 3 minutes while you sit there, and then the rest of the animation when you move again, but at a slow speed.

  5. Since I never actually see kids tagging garages, basement stairs, the subway walls, and so on, I can only surmise that they do it at night when they should be sleeping, so that they’ll be at least marginally intelligent the next morning when they go to school. No high school diploma, little chance of a job. Then they tell us they’re angry at the school system.

    You have to wonder where the parents are if their kids are out mucking up the city at 3:00 in the morning.

  6. Only a matter of time before the pro-graffiti whack jobs start crawling out of the woodwork on this one….

  7. I agree — I can’t think of a time that the train hasn’t stopped with “Train Traffic Ahead” In fact, it’s happened so regularly that it’s clear that they are doing something wrong.

  8. I work for the MTA. The reason why the train always stops there is because they are waiting to get a proper lineup. The tower person has to make sure they are sending the train on its proper route.

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