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REACH: New York, An Urban Musical Instrument 1996

by Christopher Janney, 1950

A green painted rectangular structure is suspended from the subway platform and engages travelers with its ability to produce sounds. Travelers place their hands in front of the box-like apparatus on the subway platform and a burst of musical notes are released on the opposite side, playing to the person on the other side. The hand motions elicit an outpouring of sounds that evoke urban life and bring about duets between strangers waiting for their respective trains. ¬†This work brings about interaction and pleased participants, serving in Janney’s words, as “a foil for getting total strangers to interact with each other.”

Artist Christopher Janney creates sound sculptures and public art that use sound and motion. He has created a number of permanent and temporary instillations in the US and Europe. Janney also has a series of Soundstairs (stairs that create sounds with each step) in various American cities.

edited from MTA Arts & Design

Reference Links

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internal MTA Arts & Culture
internal Wikipedia: Christopher Janney
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