Underground Light Show at Bleecker Street Subway Station Wows Riders

By Kiratiana Freelon on July 24, 2012 7:46am 

NOHO — A new digital-art installation is lighting up the underground at the Bleecker Street 6 train station.

The honeycomb-shaped LED-light scultpure on the uptown platform, aptly called "Hive," is the latest addition to the station by MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design, a program that has focussed on bringing art into the New York City subway system since 1985. 

The installation, by artist Leo Villareal, was created using LED tubes, custom software, electrical hardware, aluminum and stainless steel. 

"It's something special to the station" said Elpie Stiffler, who walked the length of the platform just to take a photo of the installation on Monday. 

The sculpture was inspired by a mathematical formula by John Conway called "The Game of Life." With its neon lights that move rapidly through a variety of colors and intensities, the work resonates the bustling activity in and around the station, explained Katherine Meehan, manager at the MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design who oversaw the creation of "Hives."

"It's abstract and evocative," she said. "It's very alive."

Carlos Rodriguez watched the installation shift from bright orange to white to neon blue on a trip through the station Monday. He said he travels through the station every day as he moves between home and work.

"It's beautiful," he said.