How one renegade photographer is hacking the concept of time

Adam Magyar is a computer geek, a college dropout, a self-taught photographer, a high-tech Rube Goldberg, a world traveler, and a conceptual artist of growing global acclaim. But nobody had ever suggested that he might also be a terrorist until the morning that he descended into the Union Square subway station in New York.

The New York Times:
A Slice of Times Square, Always in Motion

The miracle of photography is that it takes moving objects and makes them still. Yet in real life, motion is part of who we are, the pulse of the city around us. Adam Magyar invented a way to insert that motion into still images. What you see on this page are not block-wide streetscapes, but minutes in the life of a one-pixel-wide sliver of New York life, captured in all its chaos and motion.

See Time Stop and Space Stretch in Adam Magyar's Latest Slit-Scans

In the movie Cashback, the first time main character Ben, a college art student who works the graveyard shift at a grocery store, learns that he can freeze time, the screen flashes through stills of people and objects stopped in mid-motion, customers reaching for shelves, some stuck in conversation, and an open gallon of milk caught flying through the air.

Alone Together

Each day in major cities, millions of people can be found passing within inches of each other — on sidewalks, in subway stations, public squares — but detached from the present moment. I’ll often find myself surrounded by people on the subway, staring into the middle distance thinking more about point A or B, than the line I’m taking to get there.

Times Square Arts:
Stainless, 42 Street

Adam Magyar is a photographer and videographer whose work depicts daily life in the world’s biggest cities. He is fascinated by the flow of time and by glimpses of individual lives, and dreams of capturing the full reality of a group of people in a single image.

Seven Photographers Who Are Rewriting Street Photography's Rigid Rules

Adam Magyar has always considered himself a street photographer. From early on, he was drawn to the camera’s ability to represent time in public space. The flow of people, the navigation of bodies on streets, in subway cars, the visual and emotional complexity of the urban landscape.

Ever feel alone in a crowded place? This artist gets you

Adam Magyar struggles with the speed of time. (Who can blame him?) In response, the Hungarian artist and photographer captures densely populated urban areas at extremely high speeds — then slows each moment down so you can experience every breath and blink.

No Film School:
Adam Magyar Measures Time in His Custom-Built High-Speed Camera Film Series 'Stainless'

Anyone who's taken at least one trip on the underground will know by the beligered faces of their fellow travellers slogging to work or elsewhere that, buskers aside, there would seem to be little creativity to be found in underground transit.

A Photographer Who Tinkers with Time

Part of the reason Magyar’s project has struck such a chord is the fine details he’s captured, like the crease around a mouth, the wisps of someone’s hair. And he’s focused on the most interesting sets of crowds, like that on the Alexanderplatz (below), where the two girls running in the background—a “gift,” he says—make all the difference between one group of waiters and another.


AB: What came first, your interest in photography or your interest in engineering and programming? AM: I was interested in digital tech and programming when I was around 20. I started taking photos when I was 30 almost. Before being a photographer, I was actually traveling. I was doing graphic design for a living, but in that decade I was traveling a lot.

Ádám Magyar “Stainless” February 8, 2017 — April 9, 2017

In Ádám Magyar’s hypnotic video Stainless, time appears to have stopped for everyone but the viewer, who travels down the subway platform of Alexanderplatz station in Berlin. The nearly immobile commuters are frozen in mid-conversation, sipping coffee, staring at cell-phone screens, or lost in thought. Only a little girl running down the platform seems to be in the real world.

In the In-Between:
Adam Magyar and the City as Nature

Hungarian photographer Adam Magyar presents us with fictional top-down views of the urban environment in his project, Squares. These images, constructed of hundreds of different pictures using custom-built photographic equipment, allow us to consider the pace and volume of city life from a bird’s eye view. It is through photographs that Adam explores ideas of nature, science, technology and the modern world.

Collector Daily:
Adam Magyar, Kontinuum @Julie Saul

A total of 8 black-and-white photographs and 6 black-and-white videos arranged in the gallery’s two rooms. The 5 pigment prints (in sizes from 13 7/8 x 97 3/4 to 26 3/4 x 70 1/8) are hung in white frames, two on the entrance partition, the others in the smaller room of the gallery.

Brooklyn Rail:

Adam Magyar’s first solo show in New York, Kontinuum, contemplates the calm and the fury of time. For this exhibition, the Hungarian artist and technological whiz built cameras and software to watch time pass, inviting the viewer to share in this typically solitary pursuit.

El Independientede:
El tiempo a través de los ojos de Adam Magyar

Mineral del Monte.- Adam Magyar, fotógrafo húngaro, invitado del Festival Internacional de la Imagen (FINI), inauguró ayer la exposición Stainless en el museo Casa Grande de la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo (UAEH).

Die U-Bahn rollt, die Zeit steht still

Die Kamera gleitet an den Passagieren auf dem U-Bahnsteig Alexanderplatz vorbei. Sie schauen auf Smartphones, lesen Bücher, kauen auf Brötchen herum - und stehen doch still da wie Skulpturen. Der Künstler Adam Magyar hat sie mit einer Industriekamera in eine bewegte Momentaufnahme eingefroren.