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!
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.
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!
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?