Union Station, Artworks


A-Train, Bill Bell

Project Description

Above the escalators to the Metro Rail subway, artist Bill Bell has installed twelve vertical light sticks producing varying patterns of light and color. Passersby may discover unexpected images that are hidden in the light patterns, and by speaking near a hidden microphone can activate a responsive sound system. Among the over 300 electronic images viewers may see and sounds they may hear are a passing freight train, taxis, Duke Ellington, Rin Tin Tin and Marilyn Monroe.

Artist Statement

“Some will get it, some won’t. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to be fun.”

About the Artist

Bill Bell

Portrait of Bill Bell

BILL BELL was born in Pittsburgh and obtained a degree in Physics from Princeton University. Bell is best known for his “Lightstick” art pieces, vertical light units which pulse lights at a rate of five thousand times per second. With normal saccadic eye movement our eyes register these pulses and reassemble them into pictures. Bell’s Lightsticks can be found in unexpected places all over the world. One was located for years at the back of the Museum of Contemporary Art and could be seen when passing south on Alameda Street in Los Angeles.