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Encore - Philly Daydreams: Stories In Transit

December 11, 2023

Forman Arts Initiative (FAI) and Mural Arts debuted Philly Daydreams: Stories In Transit - a new augmented reality public art project by Indian-American artist and filmmaker Anula Shetty on October 5, 2023.  They will have an encore presentation this week ONLY!

City Hall Station’s Oculus Display:
Broad Street at Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
*Philly Daydreams at City Hall Station’s oculus is free to the public
Tuesday - Thursday: 3PM – 6PM

Shetty is the inaugural artist-in-residence of Public Works - launched by FAI and Mural Arts - which places artists in Philadelphia government agencies and organizations to develop artwork that forges new connections between the agencies’ work and the communities they serve. Since January 2023 - Shetty has been working within SEPTA - researching its history and filming stories from employees and commuters across Philadelphia who share intimate glimpses into how daily transit can serve as a space for daydreaming, wonder, and connection.

Shetty’s project explores public transportation as a service that unites people through a shared experience. “The goal is to create connections between people who cross paths during their daily commute,” Shetty said. “Through Philly Daydreams - I want to provide SEPTA riders a moment to hear uplifting stories of human connection and a moment to be moved by a poem or performance, to imagine, and to daydream as I got to during the wonderful process of exploring SEPTA and meeting my inspiring city-mates.”

Shetty shot the interviews in various SEPTA locations and commuter hubs, including inside a historic trolley at SEPTA Headquarters, The Southeast Asian Market in FDR Park, and the network of disused SEPTA tunnels beneath the city.

From these interviews - Shetty created a series of photographs around themes of commuting and daydreaming in Philadelphia transit; photography featuring portraits of riders and transit-related landscapes will line the areas above the windows in many of Philadelphia’s trains, buses, and trolleys, serving as the launchpad for Philly Daydreams’s augmented reality.

QR-triggered photographs taken by Shetty can be found on select Broad Street Line trains as well as on buses, trolleys, and digital screens across the system. Anyone with a phone can activate a transit story. Riders who hold their phone up to these panels will trigger one of Shetty’s filmed interviews to appear on their screen - creating the visual of a fellow rider accompanying them on their journey and sharing their dreams in transit.

The interview series will be housed online at, and - where all are encouraged to share their dreams.