Sebastian Errazuriz triggers a yawning contagion in the city that never sleeps
Just like laughing, yawning is extremely contagious. When you see someone yawn, it is highly likely that you would subconsciously yawn yourself. In fact, you might be yawning right now.
New York-based artist and designer Sebastian Errazuriz has created an amazing social experiment-cum-installation called “A Pause in the City That Never Sleeps” that explores this very phenomenon. From 11:57 pm to midnight every night in January, the electronic billboards of Time Square will show a black and white video of a man yawning on loop. Seeing the large face of a man yawning, the pedestrians still out and about at night would feel an urge to stop and yawn due to the contagious nature of a yawn. As the yawning masses move through the city, they would unconsciously carry their contagious message with them, spreading a moment of pause throughout the city. The installation could not have been set in a more apt city- the city that never sleeps. Worn-out people still out on the streets late at night (whether they are going home or on their way to their night shift) are reminded that they need to pause, realize how tired they are, and take a moment to breathe.
Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “The beauty of Sebastian Errazuriz’s piece is its attempt to induce a contagious moment of calm and pause at the otherwise bustling crossroads of Times Square. That juxtaposition is sure to be powerful for all who have the chance to see it. We will see how the largest digital display of yawns in history will affect the city that never sleeps.” Learn more about Sebastian Errazuriz here.