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Hideous Tunnel Transformed

from The New York Times

A Rare Chance to Stroll a Park Avenue Tunnel, in the Name of Art


Since the 1930s, the Park Avenue tunnel has been closed to pedestrians, and its weathered stone walls and ridged metal ceiling have been visible only to New Yorkers whipping past inside their automobiles.

That will soon change, to dramatic effect.

On Saturday, the city will temporarily shut the tunnel to car traffic, and the 1,394-foot cavern — which runs on Park Avenue between 33rd and 40th Streets — will be turned into an incandescent, echoing, interactive art show.

From 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., visitors will be able to enter the tunnel at 33rd Street, at the spot where Park Avenue dips sharply downward. (There are six signs there that tell pedestrians to stay away. Ignore them.) Participants will be instructed to walk to a midpoint in the tunnel and deliver short messages into a silver intercom.

The messages will then billow outward in waves of sound and arching light until they disappear. The intensity of each beam will be determined by the pitch and volume of the messenger’s voice. And the messages will shoot out quickly, one after another, creating a seemingly endless, ever-changing cascade of sound and light.

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Posted on July 29, 2013 by Editor

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