Streetscape Symphony

Urban Sensing and Data

Streetscape Symphony is an interactive audio installation to explore New York City’s five boroughs for the New Museum’s Ideas City Festival.

Though we often tune out the aural aspects of our surroundings, our acoustic environments have a profound effect on our daily lives and offer important insights into our cities. Offering an aural interpretation of New York City’s untapped capital, Streetscape Symphony is an exploration of the dialogue between the city’s design and the people who inhabit it.

The installation follows the collaborators’ parallel auditory journeys through New York City, recorded with in-ear binaural technology, by reproducing spatially scaled, geotagged soundscapes from each of the five boroughs within the gallery. Motion-tracking sensors in the gallery allow visitors to manipulate sonic landscapes as they approach or move away from boroughs. The result of this new, mixed sound represents the integration of the unseen resources throughout the boroughs with the embodied activity at the gallery and the coming-together of New York’s most underutilized resources. A binaural headphone station allows listeners to experience, in surround sound and in first person, the artists’ explorations, and to be momentarily transported across boroughs and between their parallel sonic experiences.

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LocationNew York, NY
TypeUrban Planning / Sensors / Data
ClientThe New Museum / Ideas City Festival
TeamBettina Zerza, Principal

Gabe Liberti (The Criterion Collection)

Dave Rife (Arup)

Lauren Sinreich (ArtHere)

Kevin Siwoff (Google)

Map of the trajectories taken by the artists while recording in each borough of New York City.