The Voice Tunnel

August 14th, 2013 by in Artsy Sh*t

As part of the DOT’s Summer Streets program, Raphael Lozano-Hemmer and his team used 300 spotlights, speakers, and an intercom to transform the Park Avenue Tunnel into a concert of voices and light.

Voice Tunnel is an interactive light and sound installation by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, and transforms the 1,400 foot long Park Avenue Tunnel with 300 theatrical spotlights that produce glimmering arches of light along the tunnel’s walls and ceiling. Participants influence the intensity of each light by speaking into a special intercom at the tunnel’s center which records their voice and loops it. Louder speech will increase the lights’ brightness proportionally, creating a Morse-like code of flashes throughout the tunnel. The individual voices areheard as pedestrians walk through the tunnel, on 150 loudspeakers, one beside each light arch and synchronized with it.

At any given time, the tunnel is illuminated by the voices of the past 90 participants: as new participants speak into the intercom, older recordings will get pushed away by one position down the array of light fixtures until they leave the tunnel, so that the content of the piece is changing constantly.

The Voice Tunnel is open to pedestrians at the 33rd Street entrance between 7am and 1pm on August 17th.