In 1980, artist and filmmaker Bill Brand installed 228 panels in the abandoned Myrtle Avenue station in Brooklyn. Lit by fluorescent lights, the panels are viewed through carefully spaced slits cut in a special housing. Based upon the principle of the 19th century zoetrope, passengers looking out the right side of a Manhattan-bound B or Q train would be able to watch a short animation. Brand’s original idea was to change the panels on a regular basis to make one, epic film comprised of 20 second clips, but soon realized that this would be unfeasible.
In the intervening years the display had fallen into disrepair, the lights broken and the panels covered in graffiti, despite Brand himself regularly going down into the station with a key someone had slipped him to clean the panels. However, over the summer of 2008 Mr. Brand, with the help of volunteers and the transportation authority’s Arts for Transit program, restored the installation and in November of that same year restarted it without any announcement or fanfare; another hidden little gem inside the vast metropolis.