NYC Summer Streets Brings Sound Art to Manhattan Tunnel

Jana Winderen, DIVE (2014), Park Avenue Tunnel, test installation on July 25.

A few times each summer, New Yorkers have the opportunity to take to the pavement, celebrating the season by walking, biking, or skating down Park Avenue and Lafayette Street during Summer Streets, which temporarily cuts off vehicular access on select blocks, letting the pedestrian, the true New Yorker, reign.

This year, Summer Streets will take place on three consecutive Saturdays: August 2, 9, and 16, from 7 a.m through 1 p.m., creating a giant block party on Lafayette from the Brooklyn Bridge up through 14th Street, and on Park from 14th to 72nd Street. Events and activities will include musical performances, the Whole Foods Market City Picnic with free food from a variety of vendors, yoga classes, bike-riding lessons from CitiBike, and a 165-foot-long zipline at Foley Square.

Of particular interest to art aficionados will be Jana Winderen‘s seven-block-long sound art installation in the Park Avenue Tunnel, titled DIVE and commissioned by New York City DOT Art. The work continues the new tradition of opening the tunnel to pedestrians during Summer Streets, begun last year with Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Voice Tunnel. Winderen, a Norwegian artist, has re-envisioned the process of traversing the tunnel as an underwater excursion, replete with sounds of aquatic life recorded at various depths all over the world. The piece captures the feeling of deep-sea diving. As one “dives” deeper into the tunnel, the sound environment will change, reflecting different underwater habitats.

If you prefer making art to listening to it, Summer Streets also has you covered. The NYC Department of Design and Construction will offer a decorative fence crafting class, allowing families to create artwork that will be displayed in a temporary exhibition hung onsite from construction fences at the Astor Place Summer Streets rest stop.

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