Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Park Avenue Tunnel to become Work of Art

For the first three Saturdays of August, the Park Avenue tunnel will be transformed into an interactive, luminescent art show. The tunnel, which runs on Park Avenue from 33rd to 40th Streets, will be closed to car traffic and accessible to New Yorkers interested in the unique display. The exhibition, which was created by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, is considered by many to be an impressive alternative to the MoMA’s recently retired “Rain Room.”

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As soon as visitors walk into Lozano-Hemmer’s “Voice Tunnel,” they will feel as though they’re a part of the show. Participants will be guided to the tunnel’s midpoint and instructed to release brief messages into an intercom. Then the messages will echo throughout the 1,394-foot cavern in sound waves and beams of light. Each beam’s magnitude will be determined by the volume and tone of each participant’s voice. All of the messages will rocket out of the intercom one after the other, so be prepared to find yourself in a whirlwind of light and sound. Only 75 visitors at a time will be allowed to explore the exhibition.

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For over two decades, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has been creating large-scale installations that use people to exemplify its purpose. “Open Air” in Philadelphia allowed visitors to record special messages which were then played back over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. “Pulse Park” in Madison Square Park featured light beams that intensified due to sensors that measured the heart rate of visitors.

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“Voice Tunnel” is the signature event of Summer Streets, a NYC event series that hosts street activities along a seven-mile route between the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park. The event series is a grand celebration of the city’s valuable outdoor space. Lozano-Hemmer’s exhibition will run on August 3rd, 10th, and 17th from 7am to 1pm. All Summer Street activities are free of charge and designed for all ages.

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