Artist falls asleep on strangers on the NYC subway and captures their reactions

Artist falls asleep on strangers on the NYC subway and captures their reactions


If you’re a frequent train passenger, you’ve probably experienced or witnessed someone falling asleep on your shoulder during your commute.


That awkward and funny situation forms the basis of artist George Ferrandi’s cheeky and humorous on-going project ‘It Felt Like I Knew You…’.

Since 2012, Ferrandi has been riding the New York City subway where she pretends to fall asleep on strangers and captures their reactions.

By breaking the unspoken rule that thou shall not touch another person while taking public transport, she elicits a gamut of reactions from surprise and laughter, to annoyance and tenderness.

The photographs are stills from iPhone videos shot by her partner in crime Angela Gilland.

Ferrandi describes the project as such: “I ride the NYC subway trains, usually in the evening when the seats are full. I focus on the shape of the space between the person sitting next to me and myself. I attempt to mentally and emotionally re-sculpt that space. In my mind, I re-shape it—from the stiff and unguarded space between strangers to the soft and yielding space between friends. I direct all my energy to this space between us. When the space palpably changes, and I completely feel like the stranger sitting next to me is my friend, I rest my head on that person’s shoulder.”

Her project also brings to mind a similar experiment conducted by charity organization Charidy last November, in which New Yorkers were recorded on camera reacting to a man resting on their shoulders.

Click here for more funny images from Ferrandi’s project.

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