Julianne Swartz, Digital Empathy

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EnlargeJulianne Swartz, Digital Empathy

June 8, 2011 - June 1, 2012
Select locations throughout Sections 1 and 2 of the park.

Julianne Swartz's sound installation, Digital Empathy, greets High Line visitors with a variety of messages. At some sites, computer-generated voices speak messages of concern, support, and love, intermingled with pragmatic information. In other sites, those same digitized voices recite poetry and sing love songs to park visitors.

Installed in 11 different locations throughout the park, the sound is transmitted through the park's bathroom sinks, water fountains, and elevators. These sites are not only unexpected places in which to encounter public art, they are places designed for individuals or small numbers of people, allowing for intimate encounters within an otherwise sprawling, communal space. The locations for Swartz's sound interventions are indicated by graphic-based signage created by the artist that mimics standard public information signs.

EnlargeDigital Empathy Locations

Digital Empathy plays on the notion that, in our culture, we turn to technologies like online social networking, blogs, and instant messages to meet our basic human need for friendship and personal connection.

About the Artist

Swartz's upcoming solo exhibitions include shows at the Decordova Museum, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. She has exhibited her work at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Tang Museum, Artists Space, Ballroom Marfa, Tate Museum Liverpool, among many other venues. Her numerous honors include awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She lives in New York State, and teaches at Bard College and the School of Visual Arts.


This High Line Art Commission is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art Commissions are made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Additional support for Digital Empathy has been provided by The Greenwall Foundation. This program is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State's 62 counties.

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