You know New Yorkers–we love to wait in line. Luckily, the line for the Voice Tunnel, while long, was fast-moving.
Otherwise, I definitely would have regretted waiting in it. Not that the “exhibit” (for lack of a better term to describe the Park Avenue tunnel open to pedestrians and filled with the echoing voices of people who have spoken into a microphone) was terrible. It was just…there.
Not to mention the incredible pressure I felt while waiting for my turn to speak into the microphone. According to the description on the installation’s website, whatever you say at that moment is, “heard as pedestrians walk through the tunnel, on 150 loudspeakers.” That’s a lot of loudspeakers.
What could I say that would be at once serious and funny? Simple and profound? Important enough to be recognized on top of all of the other voices fighting to be heard?
In the end, I couldn’t think of anything, so I said, “This is a tunnel.”
And it echoed throughout the tunnel.
Maybe there’s some sort of metaphor here about how the most obvious things can be the ones that most need to be heard–but I’m not claiming to have thought of that at the moment.
I just wanted to say something and get out of there so I could continue my day of waiting in line for things. I’m a New Yorker. It’s what I do.