The New York City subway is bursting with works of art created by artists from around the world, and while they are all fun to look at, there are some you can directly interact with. While one piece inspires viewers to create a musical duet with strangers across the tracks, another immerses spectators in sounds created by subway air. Other interactive installations allow viewers to engage with the station’s past. Untapped New York rounded up five of the most exciting interactive subway art pieces that all can enjoy while waiting for the subway to arrive.
1. Reach New York at 34th Street Herald Square
While standing on the 34th Street-Herald Square subway platforms for the uptown or downtown N/R train, do not be surprised if a spontaneous outburst of musical notes graces your ears. The sound is coming from that large green rectangular box above the platform. This interactive subway art installation, titled Reach New York, An Urban Musical Instrument, was created by artist Christopher Janney in 1996.
Janney’s creation, which could easily be overlooked as a piece of station infrastructure, is meant to inspire interaction between strangers waiting for their trains. When you commuters place their hands in front of one of the sensors indicated by white circles, musical notes ring out on the opposite platform and the lights illuminate. New Yorkers can trade notes, creating a musical duet from across the tracks.