I take the Q train from Brooklyn to Manhattan a lot and am always fascinated by this animation that’s viewable from the train slightly after you pass the Dekalb Ave. stop (animation starts :20 in, there’s some NSFW language in the background):

So I finally decided to do some research on it. Turns out it’s Bill Brand’s Masstransiscope and it was installed in the abandoned Myrtle Avenue subway station in September, 1980. It’s made up of 228 hand-painted panels viewed through a series of vertical slits. It works on the principle of the Zoetrope, a 19th century optical toy.


Below is an old news story about Masstransiscope that interviews Brand. He talks about how being a filmmaker led to the idea: “Instead of having the film go through the projector, you could move the audience past the film.”