Apology Line Subject of New Documentary

Posted on: May 7th, 2010 at 8:18 am by

In the early eighties, a unique underground community developed around the then-revolutionary technology of answering machines.  The concept was dubbed the Apology Line, and was the brainchild of artist Alan Bridge.  His social experiment in anonymous confessions lasted until his untimely death in 1995, and is now the subject of a new independent documentary.

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A handful of tear-tab flyers in the neighborhood implore those who participated in such apologies to contact the producers.  This particular one is located outside First Park on East Houston.

Here is more on the Apology Line, courtesy of the official film website:

In 1980 the experimental artist Alan Bridge began to cultivate a congregation centered around a then novel piece of technology; the answering machine. He plastered downtown Manhattan with posters inviting people to call “The Apology Line” and get whatever they wanted off their chests. The City’s bad old days were a fertile breeding ground for such a venture.

By 1995 he had recorded more than 500,000 phone calls and created a disembodied, anonymous community of followers. Many had known each other for years but never met. They shared secrets and false identities. And they told you everything about the darker aspects of human nature and urban society.

In 1995, Bridge died unexpectedly in a scuba-diving accident. And his line went the same way. The voices of a time, a city and a generation have been silent ever since. Until now. As part of a documentary on Mr. Apology and his project, we are retracing his footsteps and asking New York and beyond: did you call Mr. Apology?

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