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The Amazon Comes to NYC’s Concrete Jungle Published:2017-10-18
Jungle-Ized is a multi-sensory AV experience in the heart of Times Square. Shown here, a participant listens to the recordings of the Amazon rainforest through ha pair of Audio-Technica M70 headphones.

To celebrate Earth Month this April, the busy screens that famously line Times Square will transform each evening at 11:57 p.m. into a digital recreation of the Amazon rainforest. Unlike previous installations though, Jungle-Ized is an interactive, multi-sensory experience that combines visuals with audio recordings to make this a truly immersive event.

Presented by Soundwalk Collective and David De Rothschild, and sponsored in part by Audio-Technica, this experience transports you into the heart of the rainforest with recordings of various areas at different times of day. In just a short walk, you will hear the river, rain birds, tree frogs, howler monkeys, and songs from native tribes.

To participate, download the Jungle-Ized app from www.Jungle-Ized.com, the Apple App store, or Google Play store. When you arrive at the Jungle-Ized booth, set up on 7th Ave. between 43rd and 44th Street, you can borrow a pair of Audio-Technica M70 headphones to walk around the featured areas. The booth is open from 12 p.m. to midnight each day, so you can experience the audio portion of the install anytime throughout the day.

“Everything is geo-located,” explained Jeff Simcox, executive director of marketing at Audio-Technica. What this means is as you walk along the designated install areas (43rd Street up to 47th Street, and 6th Ave. to 8th Ave.), the app will play specific recordings based on your location. You can pick up a map from the Jungle-Ized booth to follow along as well.

Soundwalk Collective chose to use Audio-Technica’s headphones for their isolation technology, allowing users to immerse into the sounds of the rainforest while walking through a different type of jungle—Times Square. As an added bonus, Simcox explained that the audio for this project was mastered using the same headphones.

The video portion of Jungle-Ized is presented in the negative, requiring participants to use their phones to invert the colors.

“The whole idea is to juxtapose the audio experience with the visual of the concrete jungle,” Simcox explained. “You’re walking in and out of different soundscapes.”

The video portion takes places each night at 11:57 p.m. as part of Times Square Arts Midnight Moment, the largest coordinated effort to synchronize the billboards in Times Square. For Jungle-Ized, more than 50 percent of the billboards will play video footage of the rainforest in the negative—to see the full authentic color of the video, you will need to switch the settings on your phone and invert the colors, so when you hold your camera up to the videos, you will see the correct colors.

“That’s the participatory part,” said Simcox.

Jungle-Ized will run from now until April 30th in NYC’s Times Square. For more information, visit www.Jungle-Ized.com.

Kelleigh Welch is managing editor of Systems Contractor News. Follow her on Twitter @kelleighwelch