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New York City’s legendary, and recently much-beleaguered, subway is one of the largest, oldest and most heavily trafficked urban commuter systems in the world. In her collage video Underground Circuit, the Chinese-born, Chicago-based artist Yuge Zhou brings a very unusual – and highly fantastical – form of order and reliability to the New York commute. Stitching together a multitude of subways scenes in concentric squares, Zhou turns the transit system into a subterranean labyrinth at the centre of which is a street performer pounding on a drum. Multiplied four-fold, this drummer is, for Zhou, ‘the controller of the movement, inspired by the concept of the Four-faced Buddha in Chinese folk religion, the god who can fulfil and grant all wishes of its devotees’.
Director: Yuge Zhou
How a self-taught autistic artist mines creativity from life’s endless variations
Nature and landscape
An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty
What can a Kurosawa classic tell us about reality, knowledge and truth?
Witness the majesty of moths taking flight at 6,000 frames per second
Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars. The Nobel Prize went to her supervisor
Animals and humans
A bluesy ballad tells the story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in the US
In this 1975 lecture, the maglev train’s inventor deconstructs his ingenious design
Meaning and the good life
To know or not to know? Lillian weighs the costs of a life-changing genetic test
Information and communication
There are many ways to make a flat map of the world – each of them a unique distortion