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MDM Grads Help Create World's Largest Piece of Moving Public Art

Jul 29, 2010 By webdev

Masters of Digital Media (MDM) graduates and local businessmen Yangos Hadjiyannis and Sheng Yu Yang are the creative force behind InTransit BC’s (ITBC) recent web-based fundraising campaign, The Pixel Train. Using online ‘crowdsourcing,’ the campaign is helping raise money for local charities by generating public art that will wrap a Vancouver SkyTrain, and become the World’s largest moving work of art.

Campaign success relies strongly on community input. For a small donation, visitors to The Pixel Train website ( www.ThePixeltrain.com ) can upload their photos and place them as pixels in a growing digital mosaic –the bigger donation, the bigger the image size. Once the image space has sold out, ITBC will screen this virtual art onto a real train that will run along the Canada Line route as part of its regular daily service.

The ‘Pixels' come in three different sizes based on donation amounts: 7x7 cm for a donation of $10, 14x14 cm for a donation of $100 or 21x21 cm for a donation of $500. Those who are camera shy can also choose from a selection of drawings created by children from partner charities. Arts Umbrella, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, Hope in Shadows and the YMCA of Greater Vancouver will be the recipients of the donated funds.

Both Hadjiyannis and Yang had worked with InTransit BC as MDM students, and out of that initial project formed startup D-Sign Touchless Interactive Systems. The two were then approached by the transit corporation earlier this year to help come up with a campaign to drive traffic to their new website.

Inspired by the theme of “connections,” Hadjiyannis envisioned a campaign that celebrates and connects diverse people through transit.

“What better connection, I thought, than connecting everyday commuters to the train itself, connecting strangers by showing them that they are the essential part of the train they use everyday,” says Hadjiyannis.

The Pixel Train also aims to reach and connect youth through its online social media website, and represent those connections and contributions digitally.

“We want to bring younger demographics to understand their ability to be contributing parts of our community.”

The Flash-based web portal (www.thepixeltrain.com) supports the live display of up to 4,000 images and allows users to view their photo within the collective artwork.

Once transferred to the train, the artwork will be reviewed by the Guinness Book of World Records, who will verify it as the largest piece of moving art.

To help support this innovative community fundraising initiative, and the four partner charities, upload your picture on the Pixel Train website at www.thepixeltrain.com.