New Yorkers of a certain age may recall a notorious nightclub called Tunnel, which was a popular haunt back in the 80s and 90s. Tunnel closed down in 2001, but now you can relive a bit of its appeal by walking through artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer‘s dazzling new art installation in the Park Avenue Tunnel. Called Voice Tunnel, the interactive sound and light show shuts down the passageway to cars, and invites pedestrians to walk through it for a sensory experience featuring the voices of those that came before them. This Saturday will be your last chance to try out the Voice Tunnel, so don’t miss it!
Voice Tunnelis part of Summer Streets 2013, a festival that bans cars from nearly 7 miles of Park Avenue so that New Yorkers and tourists can roam the road freely on foot, bike or skates. The art installation marks the first time in history that the 1,400-ft-long Park Avenue Tunnel will be opened to pedestrians.
Lozano-Hemmer’s interactive design invites visitors to walk down into tunnel, which has been laced with 360 spotlights that strobe on and off across the whole length of the passageway. People will also be able to speak into a special intercom to record their voices, which will be played back on 180 loudspeakers throughout the tunnel. The lights will grow brighter based on how loudly participants speak, so yell if you want to really be dazzled!
New Yorkers already got to experience Voice Tunnel on August 3rd and August 10th, but just like Tunnel nightclub, all good things must come to an end so Saturday, August 17th will be the final time you’ll be able to check Voice Tunnel out. We recommend arriving as early as possible (the tunnel will be open from 7am to 1pm, but can close early at the discretion of the organizers). And expect a line – we waited about half an hour, but that was at around 10am. If you have your bike with you, that’s OK, but remember to check it at the bike valet on 32nd St. before you head into the tunnel. You’ll need to get a stamp and sign a waiver before you go in. The tunnel entrance is located at 33rd Street but the line starts on 32nd Street.
And don’t forget to check out all of the other fun activities Summer Streets has to offer.
Photos and video ©Yuka Yoneda