Having been around for over 100 years, the subway system in New York is replete with ghost stations, abandoned platforms, and tunnels to nowhere. There’s so much of it that the MTA’s neglected property has become something of a fascination, and while projects like the Lowline seek to transform abandoned platforms into pleasant public spaces, mostly these unused areas become depressing garbage pits. But artist Andrew Diemer, a graphic design student at Pratt, has transformed one of these phantom spots with a simple installation.
The abandoned Bedford Nostrand entrance to the G train was something of a familiar neighborhood eyesore before the project went up. “I live in Bed-Stuy and one thing that always caught my eye in the neighborhood was this abandoned subway stop that I felt like was this complete waste of space,” Andrew recalled. “The MTA excavated and built this entrance but then closed it off without really any reasoning, and now it’s just this giant trash dump that passersby just throw their garbage into and don’t really think anything of.”
Rather than simply beautifying the space, Andrew wanted his type installation, made of neon tape and wire, to bring attention to the fact the space is a lost one. “It seemed like a great opportunity to do something that was relevant to the neighborhood and engaging to the community,” he said.
“It’s a comment on how this permanent structure is impermanent in its use,” Andrew explained of the project, which he said is a “rip” from Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. “It’s almost like a gravestone in some ways, marking that this thing exists but it’s no longer in use,” he mused. “It’s nevermore, I guess.”
Andrew wasn’t secretive about installing the thing, and while he strung up the wire passersby stopped to thank him. “A lot of people came up and they were like, ‘I’m really glad you’re turning this trash pit into something a little more fun to look at,'” he recalled. Not surprisingly the project also has a digital life-#nevermoreproject is alive and well on Instagram.
“I’m really interested in structures that are forgotten,” Andrew said. “I guess it’s the same reason why people watch monster movies-there’s something empty and dystopian and scary about it.”