It’s not every day you see people seesawing away in the middle of a Manhattan street, but that’s what you’ll find through this month on one Broadway block near Midtown.
The interactive art installation, called “Impulse,” features 12 big seesaws set up on Broadway between 37th and 38th Streets, with the block completely closed to vehicles through Jan. 31, when the installation ends. It’s part of the city Department of Transportation’s Seasonal Streets Program.
The installation is presented by the Garment District Alliance, and includes seesaws ranging from 16 to 24 feet and with LED lights and speakers. As the seesaws bob back and forth, they glow with light and produce random notes and sound sequences.
More importantly, the users bouncing on the devices Jan. 6 all seemed to be having a great time — if the from the laughter and smiles seen from people of all ages were any judge.
“This is a truly fantastic interactive art experience that creates a unique area of urban play on our pedestrian plazas,” said Barbara A. Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance. “As part of our commitment to enhancing the pedestrian experience year-round, we are proud to introduce a new, captivating installation that brightens Broadway in the Garment District this winter and brings joy to all who visit.”
Impulse premiered at a Montreal festival in 2015-16, and was created by Lateral Office and CS Design in collaboration with EGP Group. The installation on Broadway is part of Garment District Art on the Plazas, which is year-round and part of NYC DOT’s Art Program.
“Even in the cold weather, streets in Midtown Manhattan are teeming with pedestrians,” said Sean Quinn, Assistant Commissioner for Street Improvement Programs at DOT. “Initiatives like Seasonal Streets respond directly to the demand for more pedestrian space. The addition of “Impulse” is a welcome feature that activates the Seasonal Street in a unique and engaging way for all New Yorkers.”
More information on “Impulse” is at garmentdistrict.nyc/arts/art-installations/impulse.