Saturday, August 03, 2013

Voice Tunnel

Voice Tunnel, Park Avenue Tunnel

Voice Tunnel, Park Avenue Tunnel

Normally, no one other than a DOT worker would dream of walking through the Park Avenue Tunnel,  the narrow former streetcar passageway that leads cars into the Viaduct around Grand Central Station. But for three days this month, half of New York will probably walk through it as people line up (two blocks long at 7am this morning!) for Voice Tunnel, an interactive sound and light installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Part of Summer Streets, Voice Tunnel allows you to use your voice to control the intensity of lights spaced throughout the tunnel, which is lined with 180 speakers playing loops of participants' speech. Some of the things people say into the intercom are predictably inane --- when you've heard "bow wow" repeated 9,256 times accompanied by flashing lights you'll probably be broken of that habit of petting strangers' dogs --- but many are not, and that cacophony of sentiments, ruminations, and declarations feels like the voice of the city, from "New York is mine" to "I am grateful for you all."

Voice Tunnel, Park Avenue Tunnel

Voice Tunnel, Park Avenue Tunnel

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