Attention Span is a multi-channel video artwork by NYC based American contemporary artist Derek Lerner as part of his series titled Infrastructure. The artist documented his daily commutes and then layered recordings into a nonlinear “feature length film” which has been deconstructed into durations of 1 minute segments (minuets/steps). Through this work, Lerner is exploring portable virtual space, digitization, surveillance, multitasking, public transit (as part of crucial infrastructure), recycling, dyslexia and spacetime - specifically in regards to New York City's flux.
In early 2019 NYC's MTA subway L train line was scheduled to shut down between Manhattan and Brooklyn for an estimated 15 months due to damage from the 2012 hurricane named Superstorm Sandy. In the months leading up to the closure I began “filming” my daily commutes on the L traveling through the 100-year-old BMT Canarsie Tunnel which runs underneath the East River carrying roughly 225,000 riders every day. This quickly grew to include commutes on the JMZ line over the Williamsburg Bridge, bus travels, and later incorporated more of the transit system. I then collaged/layered each recording together creating an abstracted document of time and space. This piece is a meditation on the importance of public transit and our reliance or dependence on its functionality however also functions as a nonlinear time capsule documenting both my personal experience as well as a “moment” in NYC’s history... maybe a NY minuet/minute?