As one of the most diverse populations in the world, over 200 different languages are spoken in NYC, and though we get passing clips of them each day when walking down the city streets or taking a ride on the subway, imagine being able to hear all these languages together?
Well, Anchorage, Babel in Reverse, a new installation in DUMBO, is making that possible!
In collaboration with the Endangered Language Alliance (ELA), the new installation by artists Joseph Morris and Owen Trueblood works to unite NYers through the power of language.
As visitors pass by, hanging electronic speakers play a babel of recorded voices speaking hundreds of different languages, though when one walks beneath each speaker the babel fades and individual voices and languages can be heard reciting stories, poems, and fables.
The installation features hundreds of different voices, including a number of voices speaking endangered languages that NYC is sadly expected to lose within the next generation or two.
For those who either can’t make it or are interested in hearing more, full audio clips of the interviews sourced by the ELA and used in this installation can also be listened to on this interactive language map.
The installation can be seen and heard hanging under the Manhattan Bridge at the DUMBO Archway. It’s open now through April, 3p.m. – 10p.m.
This isn’t the only installation currently piquing the interest of NYers, however.
Anchorage, Babel in Reverse is just one of many public installations currently on view in NYC. Other installations include Madison Square Park’s 18-foot golden statue, the Garment District’s Living Lantern, and Brookfield Place’s colorful iridescent archway.