Park update: The Interim Walkway at the Western Rail Yards (between 30th & 34th Streets) is temporarily closed today.

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30th Street Challenge
Give by June 20

To meet the demands of our busiest time of the year, we ask all friends of the High Line to help us raise a total of $30,000—$1,000 for each block of our 1.5-mile-long park along Manhattan’s West Side.

Photo by Kazio Sosnowski

Julianne Swartz

Digital Empathy

June 8, 2011 – June 1, 2012

Various locations on the High Line

Artist Julianne Swartz presents a sound installation, Digital Empathy, which 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 eleven 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. 

Artist bio

Julianne Swartz (b. 1967, Arizona) lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, Arizona (2013); deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts (2012); Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (2011); the Jewish Museum, New York (2009); and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis (2008). She has produced site-specific commissions for the New Museum, New York; Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, England; and the Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs.


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.