Good Vibrations: ‘Pet Sounds’ by Charles Long Transforms Madison Square Park

NEW YORK—A mint green blob in the middle of Madison Square Park hisses like a rattlesnake when you touch it. Put your hands near the top of the form and the sound of jazz can be heard. The amorphous sculpture is one of six by Los Angeles-based artist Charles Long situated on the park’s Oval Lawn. The forms are connected by railings and ooze onto wood-slat benches and picnic tables. Visitors are encouraged to touch and interact with “Pet Sounds,” a mixed-media installation with “undulating biomorphic surfaces” that emit a series vibrations and sounds. The works are odd and intriguing. On Friday afternoon, parents tried to keep up with their children as they ran from one organic form to the other, thrilled by the experience when they felt the surface of the sculptures. A trio of twenty-somethings were completely engaged by the exhibit, spending time with each work—touching it, discussing it and photographing it—and then collectively looking at their hands before one whipped out some hand sanitizer.

“Pet Sounds” is transforming Madison Square Park from May 2 to Sept. 9, 2012.

All photos by Arts Observer

Some passersby looked at the sculptures in wonder, before tentatively touching their surfaces.

Signs throughout the installation invite visitors to touch the sculptures, but caution against climbing on them.

Post Your Thoughts