Below are selected quotes from press we've received. Click on the links to read the full articles. For all press inquiries, please contact Blake Zidell via email or at 718.643.9052.
"luciana achugar had us close [our eyes] and tune in to our own architecture, our bodies, before we made our way along the carpeted corridors of power on hands and knees – a blind, furless herd. We did not care that we looked insane. She had made us instant converts to the senses." Financial Times 7/12/13
"[Michelle] Boulé and [Niegel] Smith designed a powerful, yet simple, walk to encourage the art of engaged observation. The experience was a welcome antidote to passive gallery wandering." The Dance Enthusiast 6/12/13
"Admission [by Michelle Boulé & Niegel Smith] not only challenged how we would traditionally engage with a museum, it also underlined the personalities of the group in ways I don’t think any of us often show." Untapped Cities 5/17/13
Miguel Gutierrez's "Sensewalk #1" has been selected as a favorite of the year by Jillian Steinhauer. "It may sound like a glorified version of summer camp, and maybe it was, but it also opened me up in a way that nothing else has since — I guess summer camp." Hyperallergic 12/31/12
"It’s a little earnest and a little kooky, and yes, you might feel silly in a dark tunnel, making sounds with strangers. But on a beautiful summer evening, there’s a poet in all of us." The New York Post 8/23/12
"I spent a wonderful evening that not only unleashed the inner film-maker in me, but made me see Paris with fresh eyes. Elastic City’s walks build communities between people who have never met before, and Andres’ inspired story transplanted fiction firmly, and in the flesh, in to the real world." France 24 7/26/12
"Sight, sound, taste, touch and smell—that's merely the domain of sensual rookies. New Yorkers who want to expand their experiential capacities might consider taking part in one of Miguel Gutierrez's guided Sensewalks." The Wall Street Journal 5/13/12
"Artists Todd Shalom and Niegel Smith conduct small groups of people around the grounds of the Abrons Art Center, training everyone's attention, with a gentle and inviting playfulness, on the smallest and most quotidian details imaginable — with low-key but delighting results." San Francisco Bay Guardian 1/17/12
"The point of the Spontaneous Society walks, Jon Cotner explained, is to restore a basic social spontaneity that he thinks has been lost (especially since the advent of headphones and cellphones). The 'gentle interventions' we’d be performing would connect us with our fellow New Yorkers, and help us to slow down: 'If we engage daily life in the right way, it’s more than we could ever desire,' he said. 'There is plenty to marvel at and engage with.'" The New Yorker 6/14/11
"Today, Jon Cotner had given us each two simple lines to repeat to strangers that were intended—through this spontaneous commenting—to generate 'good vibes' with the people around us and also render us more aware of our environment....Members of the tour got smiles, friendly conversation, and even compliments from people they hadn’t approached. People in the group noted how they felt more 'open' to other people after the experience, and how they were surprised by how often their statements were met with smiles or laughter." Bookforum 6/10/11
"These experiences are rare for being educational, interactive and personal. The artists often encourage moments of introspection and even vulnerability among participants, who may be asked to walk with eyes closed, make the sound of an inanimate object or trace the wall of a building with one’s hands. That such behaviour sounds regressive may be part of its appeal. With the right motivation, it can be satisfying to flout conventional codes of behaviour out in the open."
The Economist 10/6/10
"In Brighton Beach Mr. Shalom asked us to pair off, one of us leading the other, whose eyes were closed, down the street. My first reaction: No way! But I closed my eyes, and this listening exercise became an experience of time. It stretched, and I felt suspended. When I opened my eyes, I was oddly exhilarated." New York Times 9/9/10
"My no-holds-barred favourite is the groovy tour called "Elastic City," the one whose antics I mentioned at the top of this piece. Our group also engaged in such odd, but compelling and darn fun, exercises such as walking the streets with our eyes closed (a partner's directions kept us from stumbling into traffic) and etching group poetry in the sand of the beach." Toronto Star 8/25/10
"Remaining silent turns on all the other senses. Colors come into sharp focus. Smells intensify. We become accutely aware of the squeals of the elevated subways in the distance, which give off an industrial-musical note." WNYC video feature 8/9/10
"A guide, a leader, a teacher, but above all an artist, Todd melts into the background of the walks, allowing the participants to use the practical and poetic awareness he gives them to open up to the city in a completely new way." Gothamist 8/9/10
"Would I recommend it to visitors to New York City? Absolutely.
If you can be open to the experience, I think you'll gain a lot of insights not just about the area you're visiting, but also about yourself." Pauline Frommer, Frommer's travel writer 7/23/10
Here's some more press. Press about a walk is also featured on that walk's unique page.
"Elastic City walking tours take a different look at New York. Instead of history, food or architecture, the company gives what it describes as 'sensory, ritualistic' and 'conceptual' walks. Poet Jon Cotner guides a tour of 'Spontaneous Society', a chance to break down the walls of anonymity with a few simple lines of dialogue." New York Times 6/3/11
"Elastic City’s artist-led jaunts aren’t about famous locations or people; rather, each walk is designed to help New Yorkers make an emotional connection with the places they pass every day and to heighten their awareness of the city around them." Time Out NY 8/11/10