Wednesday, July 02, 2008

public works

Here's a thing I'm cooking up with Eric Sanders:

THE PUBLIC WORKS PROJECT, an organization dedicated to creating 'moments' and images at certain times and intervals throughout the city. Our first project is called "Subway Make-Out," and we are seeking couples who are interested in participating in this multiple, simultaneous subway make-out session. We are planning to do this on a late July morning or afternoon; we will rehearse for a few hours in the days beforehand. More info is below. Feel free to pass this on to friends, and we hope you can join us in making New York City a little less real.

You are sitting on a semi-crowded train, before or after work. Either way, you're tired, sluggish; weary about the day you're headed towards or coming from. And then you look up briefly and notice an attractive young couple standing above you, chatting it up, smiling at each other, flirting. They're acting like this is the first time they've ever met; he's nervous, she's shy. They're making silly jokes. He's putting his hands in his pockets and smoothing his tie when he laughs. She's running her hands through the back of her hair. You look away, think nothing of it. God, work is going to suck today, you think; or, God, TV is going to suck tonight and Bravo's only playing re-runs, plus I'm out of dog food and RiffRaff is hungry. Shit. you think to yourself. This is how we get lost in our thoughts—this is how the city swallows us up. And then something brings you back, onto the subway car, into the present again: The couple above you has started to kiss, just like that; his arms are around her back, he's dipping her ever so slightly, their legs are touching, and they're embracing like it's WWII and he's just returned home. Is anyone else seeing this? you wonder, looking around the train. And then the strangest thing: Another couple, at the far door, is doing the same thing, wrapped in each others' arms like they're the same person, and then another couple on the far end of the train, and then another, and then another… What the fuck? Is this possible? you ask yourself. Summer makes people crazy, after all. But not this crazy. Does it? The couples—6 of them, 8 of them, 10 of them—are all kissing now, all oblivious to each other, oblivious to the outside world. They are in their world and you are in yours, except now you are a little bit in theirs. You look around the train and a few other seated people have noticed it too—their eyes meet yours, wondering, How could this be real? And then the train stops and the doors open and, just like that, all the couples exit, holding hands. In unison. No applause, no curtain, just another morning or night in the city. Except now it's somehow not so lonely. Your eyes meet those of the person seated across from you—and, yes, you both actually crack a quick smile.

Are you a real-life couple or are you and a partner interested in joining us? We will be premiering "Subway Make-Out" in the sexy heat of July. E-mail Director John Clancy at with your interest and we will be in touch soon regarding scheduling.


John Clancy and Eric Sanders

Sounds like fun, right?

I also had an idea yesterday for the Simultaneous I-Pod Dance. A bunch of people hit the same song at the same moment on their I-Pod and start dancing, precisely and intricately, on the subway platform.

Just trying to keep it interesting.


3.14 said...

im passing the info along to a couple I know in NYC.

and if I can rope Leo into it, I might be interested as well.




3.14 said...


I'd be TOTALLY up for the ipod dance. I randomly dance in public anyway so group dancing in public wouldn't be much different...

John said...

Everybody's always dancing, it would be cool to see them dancing together sometimes.

Ann said...

RiffRaff. The dog's name in this scenario is RiffRaff.

It's the little things that keep me coming back, Clancy.

Eric said...

I love the ipod idea. Similar to an idea I had for a music video... it would be so much fun!

rob said...

sounds cool, would love to do it, but I am in Ireland late july. Especially as I do like making out AND dancing. Out of curiosity do you know of the improv everywhere missions?

Lori said...

Question. Where we suppose to know the person we make out with? I did a dry run at QT and the cashier seemed stunned when I made out with him.
He did say I was an amazing kisser though. Guess I need to read the fine print before I do these things.
Hope all is well. Miss blogging with everyone.
Have a great 4th

Lori said...

Good news Ann.
After you smooch on a QT cashier, they will card you, no matter what you buy.

Walk Like an Egyptian

Ann said...


I missed you! Should your new cashier boyfriend not be up for making the trip to NYC, I'll totally make out with you. You know...for Art.

John said...


Getting all steamy here in the Comments section.

That's a nice development.

Yeah, the Improv Everywhere people are genuises.

Lori said...

I asked my husband if it was o.k. with him to bring the QT cashier w/us.

He said no

But he was all about us making out for awhile... ya know for art.

Who is Art and why is he so important??

John said...

Art is the best kisser in the room, but he breaks your heart at the end of each night.

But then he gives you dreams you stay up all night for, dreams you could never have on your own, so the next night you crawl back to him, black circles under your eyes, exhausted and eager, smiling shyly, licking your lips, believing, against all experience, that this time he'll go all the way.

Art is a whorish bride you must honor, a husband who is never, never home but writes the most beautiful letters that you carry with you all your days.

Art is a cruel bastard, but he's the only one who really makes you laugh.

At least that's the Art I know.

Rose said...

I hate to break it to you darling, but the ipod dancing in sync thing has been done before. I've never participated, but it sounds like a lot of fun. See link.

OR apparently there's a really easy
way to sync people up see below.

John said...

These impoveverywhere people are so good. Eric just sent me a link where they filled a subway car with twins. Beautiful.

If PWP can be the emotionally challenged, learning-disabled second cousin of those guys, I'm happy. Just goofing with this one.