{NYC} Summer Streets + The Voice Tunnel

This past weekend was the last weekend we were able to experience Summer Streets. Summer Streets is an annual celebration of New York’s largest public space – streets! The streets are shut down to vehicles from 7am to 1pm for three consecutive Saturdays. I was able to take to the streets two of the three Saturdays this summer, and last weekend I made it to the Voice Tunnel, by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. The sound and light installation took place in the Park Avenue Tunnel, and it was the first time I (and the rest of New York) were able to walk through the tunnel!

NYC summer streets - the voice tunnel

It was a fun experience. The installation had been talked up over the past month, and there was a line that wrapped around several blocks. Fortunately the Summer Streets crew were very efficient and the line only lasted a half hour. Pretty soon we were walking through the tunnel with lights flickering on and off with an echo.

NYC summer streets - the voice tunnel

There were 300 theatrical spotlights controlled by an intercom in the center of the tunnel. Visitors were lining up to speak into the intercom. I wanted to give it a whirl but the line was long. Two long lines in a row, I didn’t think I could handle it! The New York Times said that the police had asked for a six second delay to block out any profanity, but the artist declined. His vision was to execute a space where the visitor could be completely free, and express their views. Honestly the sounds were so loud bursting though the tunnel, I only understood half of what was said!

NYC summer streets - the voice tunnel

It was a great Saturday morning, and I’m glad I woke up a little early and stood in line. It was totally worth it. Did you get a chance to visit the Voice Tunnel? Did you take any interesting pics + video?

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    • Tina Ramchandani says

      It really was a fun event Geraldine. Maybe you can plan to be here next summer! I’m sure there will be another exciting exhibit in place at that time.

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