One of the best kept secrets of Times Square, and often nicknamed the “hum,” Max Neuhaus’ “Times Square” sound installation is meant to be discovered by visitors on their own at the north end of the triangular pedestrian island located at Broadway between 45th and 46th Streets. Neuhaus intended the work to be passed by until it became a sort of personal encounter.
First installed in the subway ventilation shaft in 1977 to 1992 and then later restored in 2002, the unlabeled work of art has no sound system in sight. You may notice a low, distinctive “hum” mixed in with all the crazy sounds of Times Square and keep on walking or stop to figure out where this uncanny sound is coming from when you realize it is not just subway noise. It certainly is worthy of attention if you are tuned in. Max Neuhaus describes his “sound sculpture” as “a rich, harmonic sound texture resembling the after-ring of large bells.”
In addition to “Times Square,” Max Neuhaus experimented with other public art sound pieces throughout New York City in the 1970s. These other installations include “A New Work (Underground)” in a sculpture garden grate at the Museum of Modern Art, “Walkthrough” in the Jay Street subway station and “Round” in the Alexander Hamilton US Custom House. You can find his “Time Piece Beacon” installation at the Dia Art Foundation in Beacon, NY.
Max Neuhaus died in 2009. His work is maintained by the Dia Art Foundation. There is a wonderful book available through Dia’s website that further explores two of Neuhaus’ works, “Times Square” and “Time Piece Beacon.”
“Times Square” is open 24/7. You will certainly have a different perspective of the ‘Crossroads of the World’ once you slow down, step in and listen to this wonderful exhibit!
We hope you enjoyed this discovery of auditory art at Times Square by Halstead agent Anna Kahn. Anna, a life-long Upper West Sider herself, is ranked in the top 1% of all real estate agents in New York City, per REAL Trends. She implements breakthrough technology and provides outstanding service with her in-depth knowledge of the Upper West Side market. Please contact Anna via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).