Audio Hop: Best NYC Art Gallery Tour You Have Ever Heard

nyc gallery audio tour

A new way to experience galleries, their artwork and the city they inhabit, even calling it a tour sells short this extremely impressive multimedia experience. Complete with props and layered audio recordings, all interspersed with civic trivia and high-speed humor, the whole Audio Hop production feels like an well-executed piece of dynamic performance art, in which you can play any number of parts. Launching next month, this hop is well worth a stop, a look and a listen.


earbuds on the sidewalk

miroslaw balka_gladstone gallery

David Behringer, the curator of this experience, is exuberant, knowledgeable and very dedicated, visiting over 250 galleries in Chelsea each month to find the five most worthy ones to show any given group (and rotating with each tour). From start to finish, his personality and enthusiasm make it work. For an simple sample, check out his video recap below showing ten of his favorite exhibits from 2013 – then click here to buy tickets for the program starting next month.

Unlike a traditional audio walking tour, this one features both live and prerecorded sound, all delivered wirelessly to an inconspicuous device, letting its guests meander through the galleries but also break away from the group. The clips include carefully curated and edited interviews with artists and other soundbites related to a given work or its context. “A hidden radio transmitter allows you to hear your guide from any distance (in total secret) AND listen to insightful audio clips of the artists themselves while you’re in the gallery.”

installation art rebar piece

olafur eliasson_tanya bonakdar gallery

Effectively, you and your fellow half-dozen tour-takers feel both empowered to enter galleries that might seem open or feel welcoming you but also liberated from the the feeling of being tied to a traditional clustered bunch of gawking tourists. You can fall behind and linger, or stride ahead to the next stop, all while absorbing auditory input in the background.

nyc gallery wall art

andreas gursky_gagosian gallery

30 out of 30 reviewers on TripAdvisor rated David’s private tours as ‘Excellent’, effectively a unanimous a 5-star recommendation. WebUrbanist’s own Executive Editor had the opportunity to a sneak peak at his new and more-public offering this summer and was beyond impressed – what were individual tours are morphing into something suddenly more accessible.

audio hop chelsea tour

mark di suvero_paula cooper gallery

If it was not already clear: we would strongly recommend taking a trip with David to anyone who wants to get a glimpse of the art world … or simply wishes to take a artfully curated walk through New York City, learning about the neighborhood, its architecture and artwork alike. Even if you are not in the area, you can still check out the blog to learn about fantastic new works.

new york audio tour

rain room gallery installation

Above: The Mots Amazing Art of the Year in NYC, 2012 edition. From (currently under reconstruction): “New York City contains the highest concentration of contemporary art galleries in human history. The result is the opportunity to enjoy the best art on the planet in a museum-like environment, without the crowds, for free, IF you can sort through the ever-changing 500+ galleries to find the most unique, jaw-dropping experiences. Good news, we found them. You’re invited on an unprecedented live audio experience of the most cutting-edge art in the world.  It’s a secret tour that takes you to the best, lets the artists speak for themselves, and give you complete freedom to wander.”