After 4,345 miles, Doug Aitken’s Levi-sponsored Station to Station reached it’s final destination Saturday night at the 16th Street Station in Oakland. Since it opened September 6 in Brooklyn, it has kept rolling via rail in a westerly direction. One night stands in Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Paul, Santa Fe, Winslow, Arizona, Barstow and Los Angeles have taken place between the Brooklyn and Oakland bookends.
16th Street Station in Oakland is no longer an active station. It was built in 1912 as a passenger station for Southern Pacific, and since the 1989 earthquake it has been divorced from its original purpose as the tracks were moved to the other side of the freeway.
Saturday night, 16th Street Station looked like a surreal scene from 12 Monkeys. The derelict station housed two large screens for film projections, as well as a small music stage in an alcove. The dusty space in front housed several yurts, foods trucks and a tricked out Airstream, as well as the main stage for musical performances. At this stop, we were treated to live music from Dan Deacon, No Age, Savages, Twin Shadow, Sun Araw and The Congos, and Lia Ices.
Food and drink lines were long, and the photo pit was unavailable to media. All media, that is except for station to station’s own photographers and film crew, which numbered in the dozens. It was a surreal experience photographing, as it seemed half of what was going on was crew documenting the experience. I felt like I was documenting the documenting of the event. No matter, it all made for an interesting evening that gave everyone plenty of food for thought and media to edit the next day.