New York, NY (April 18, 2016)—Throughout April, visitors to Times Square in New York City will have a chance to visit the heart of the Amazon, not by winning a contest or some other promotional event, but by experiencing Jungle-ized: A Conversation With Nature—a month-long interactive multi-sensory art installation that is transporting close to half a million visitors daily to the rainforest.
Presented in collaboration with David de Rothschild, The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC), Times Square Arts, Audio-Technica and CXA+ART, the immersive installation includes a participatory audio experience and an interactive video, to encourage a conversation with nature and to heighten awareness of the environmental impact of climate change.
It’s a soundscape that began with the raw tracks that were captured in the Amazon, mixed on Audio-Technica ATH-M70x Professional Monitor Headphones. Composed by sound artist Francisco López, the sonic journey includes the voices of Shipibo shamans and narration by Amazon experts Jeremy Narby and Daniel Pinchbeck, guiding visitors along a jungle tour and into a conversation with nature.
As part of the Times Square Arts’ At the Crossroads program, which includes installations and performances on the public plazas of Times Square, visitors are invited to take self-guided audio tours of the Amazon by downloading the Jungle-ized mobile app, available via free Wi-Fi service. From noon to midnight throughout April, visitors can also borrow a pair of Audio-Technica’s ATH-M70x headphones from the official Jungle-ized kiosk located on 7th Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets, to begin the journey through a virtual soundscape that superimposes the Amazon ecosystem upon an eight-square block area of Times Square.
Soundwalk Collective’s Jungle-ized installation in Times Square was launched on April 1, 2016. In attendance (shown left to right) were Sherry Dobbin, Times Square Alliance Creative Director; Francisco López, Sound Artist; Stephen Crasneanscki, Kamran Sadeghi and Simone Merli of Soundwalk Collective; Jeff Simcox, Audio-Technica Executive Director of Marketing Communications. Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images.
This audio experience is accompanied by a video, directed by Stephan Crasneanscki of Soundwalk Collective, which will be shown every night in April from 11:57pm to midnight on the electronic billboards of Times Square. The Jungle-ized film invites spectators to take part in a simple collective action in celebration of Earth Month, revealing the hidden energy that exists in one of the most biodiverse environments in the world, bringing the animals, the air, the trees, and the tribal inhabitants of the Amazon to New York City.
Filmed with Nikon D750 and Nikkor lenses, the video was shot along the longitudinal 73rd Meridian West that connects Times Square with the Amazon. Visitors will be encouraged to view the video through their phones by enabling a negative viewing function on a mobile device, inverting the colors to reveal a “positive” version of the film.
“I chose Audio-Technica’s ATH-M70x headphones not only because of their audio quality, but because I knew eventually that visitors to the exhibit would be listening to our tracks through these same headphones,” stated Francisco López. “We wanted to offer visitors the ability to hear the tracks the same way I did when mixing them.”
Soundwalk Collective noted, “Godard once said: the positive is in the projector, and the negative is in the camera. We have reversed this concept, showing the negative image and the missing sound in order to remind us all that life in every shape and form is a given. And after, you have to live and make your destiny. Nature was given to you as a positive and life has no meaning if you don’t take care of it with duty. When we take these headphones off, or see the real color of Nature in the screens around us, hopefully we will also understand our immediate responsibilities.”