Repurposing public spaces to serve as tech-powered art pieces has become the newest way to re-energize interest in a city's infrastructure, as exampled by San Francisco's recent digital bridge project. Now a new installation set to kick off in New York will take over an entire traffic artery and turn it into a pedestrian zone of audio experimentation.
Created by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, "Voice Tunnel" is an installation that will transform Manhattan's Park Ave Tunnel into space where visitors can walk in and record their voices along different points in the tunnel. The louder the person yells, the more reactive the associated light displays will become. The recorded voices are then pumped out through 180 loudspeakers to new visitors as they walk through the tunnel. And, as new visitors exit, they can record their own sounds, which will gradually record over older messages.
For those unfamiliar with the iconic tunnel, it ends at an elevated bridge intersection that served as the site in I Am Legend where Will Smith gets captured by the vampire-zombie-terrible-CGI-characters. Spanning nearly 9-feet tall and 16-feet wide, the tunnel installation will run from 33rd Street to 40th Street from the hours of 7am to 1pm, completely free of traffic, allowing visitors to casually stroll through an area usually packed with fast moving automobiles. The limited-time installation will kick off this weekend.