Open to pedestrians for the first time in history, the Park Avenue Tunnel welcomes visitors to experience an interactive light and sound installation like no other. Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has transformed the 1,400 foot long tunnel with 300 theatrical spotlights that create shimmering archways along the tunnel’s walls and ceilings. It is called Voice Tunnel.
At the tunnel’s center, participants speak into a special intercom that records their voices and then loops them. The louder, both in pitch and volume, the participants’ voices are, the more intense the light beams become. On 150 loudspeakers that are spread throughout the tunnel, trailing voices of the past 90 participants can be heard by the pedestrians who are walking through. “So it’s not a cacophony,” Lozano-Hemmer tells WNYC, “the voices are quiet. They’re more like little memories of the tunnel.”
Voice Tunnel is the signature event of Summer Streets, New York City’s annual celebration of its most valuable public space, its streets! Kicked off this past Saturday, the event actually bans cars for about seven miles of major streets, between the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park. Running for only three select Saturdays (August 3, August 10 and August 17), during specific times (7am to 1pm), Voice Tunnel is one interactive light show you’ll want to check out before it’s gone!
Photo credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP, via Art Daily