AC [ Direct 547 W. 27th St, #519  New York, NY 10001

Subway Synesthesia
Kenji Kojima

November 6-December 13, 2008
Opening Thursday, November 6, 2008, 6-8:00pm

Kenji Kojima’s “Subway Synesthesia” is the first exhibition in AC [Direct]’s “Unearthed” series.

Since 1990, Japanese artist Kojima has been experimenting with the relationships between perception and cognition, mathematics, technology, music and art. On view at the AC [Direct] spaces I and II is New York City Subway and RGB Music.

Kojima’s series of photographs New York City Subway are presented as diptychs that become the material for his moving image and sound installations. These photographs, along with simple text overlays, act as a sort of eye-to-mind primer that are then dissolved into hundreds of pixels of flowing color and sound. Through RGB Music, these digital photographs are further reduced to their color pixels that are then transformed into a series of musical compositions.

Images from Kojima’s New York City Subway photographs form Mondrian-like geometric of colors that correspond to a note or chord in a selected scale. As these photographic musical variations manifest as song poems, the city’s underground, the subway, is transformed into music and color.  Kojima digs beneath the surface buzz of New York to reveal the poetry and music within them. 

As Kojima describes it, “is not an impression of a painting or a photograph of a musical variation. It composes a score from an image directly.”

RGB Music now includes an interactive, synchronized 3-D drawing that follows the RGB values along an XYZ axis of the image. The lines become a distinct topography—a visual map of the both the musical score and photographic content. To experience this interactive component go to:

Born in Japan and currently living in New York City, Kenji Kojima is an accomplished artist, inventor and computer scientist who integrates both the visual and the technical. Concerns with knowing his medium have pushed him to build his own original tools from which to create his art. Kojima’s fascination with tempera painting techniques and early studies in design influence his current use and understanding of digital technology and art. Along with technical innovation and multi-disciplinary mastery, his pieces evoke poetry and humor throughout. Kojima’s work is archived at New Museum / Rhizome in New York. In both 1999 and 2001, he was selected by the Machida City Museum in Tokyo for excellence in Art on the Net.

To see and read more about the work by Kenji Kojima go to

AC [ Institute Unlimited Direct Chapel ]

Gallery Hours:
#519, #529 & North Alcove
Wednesday through Saturday: 12-5pm, Thursday: 12-8pm

547 W. 27th St, #519 New York, NY 10001

Holly Crawford, Director:
Christine Licata, Gallery Manager:

AC's mission is to advance the understanding of art through investigation, research and education. It is a lab and forum for experimentation and critical discussion.

We support and develop projects that explore a performative exchange across visual, verbal and experiential disciplines. We encourage critical writing that challenges conventional expectations of meaning and objectivity as well as the boundaries between the rational and subjective.