New York City has experienced a biking boom in recent years, but the flip side of that trend is oddly sinister: hundreds of abandoned bicycle corpses are rotting away all over the five boroughs, and it’s a lot harder to get rid of them than you might think.
In late April, Transportation Nation, a public radio reporting project of WNYC, asked readers and listeners to submit photographs of abandoned bikes throughout the city. They received more than 500 submissions and mapped them online. Now, the bikes’ afterlives have become an art exhibit at The Greene Space in Manhattan. From August 1 through September 4, WNYC’s Abandoned Bike Project photos will be on display as “a collection of the detritus of urban mobility in a busy city.”
“Once we got in hundreds and hundreds of photos of these abandoned bikes we started to notice there was a rhythmic beauty in how they were all so similar but they were all so unique in the peculiar but familiar form of decay,” says Alex Goldmark of Transportation Nation (who’s also a contributing editor at GOOD). “And we have a performance space here that supports art events. The director suggested we make an art exhibit because some of [the photographs] do rise to the level of art.”
A crowdsourced project to get abandoned bikes off the street results in an urban art project. My latest for GOOD. Read more…