The Apology Line podcast tells the unsettling stories of a secular confessional telephone line.
The Apology Line project invited the public to call a telephone line and leave anonymous apologies for wrongdoings on an answering machine. The project was started by artist Allan Bridge, anonymously, in the early 1980s in New York City. Allan ran the project for more than a decade and also published a magazine companion to the telephone line.
Questions about morality and the criminal mind intrigued Allan and drove his work. Before the Apology project, Allan created an interactive art piece called Crime Time. Crime Time replicated the act of stealing. A user could either get away with the act or be caught with one’s hand, literally, in the act.
This interactive art was reportedly Allan’s way of coming to terms with his own shoplifting. Later, his purpose for the Apology project was “to provide a way for criminals and wrongdoers to apologize for their misdeeds in the hope that this will help them turn over a new leaf.”
In this episode of MetaPod, we talk to Marissa Bridge, widow of Allan Bridge and narrator of The Apology Line. Marissa talks to us in detail about the podcast and the original Apology Line project. As a result, we learn that the original project had far greater scope and insight on human behaviour than the podcast.
Marissa also recounts life in Manhattan in the 1980s and the historical context of the Apology project. She speaks candidly to us about her life with Allan and the callers whose apologies occupied much of their time together.
About Marissa Bridge
Marissa Bridge is a painter and multi-media artist who lives in New York with her husband, three cats and a dog. Her art work is inspired by nature and its structures. One of the most important influences in Marissa’s art and life was her relationship with the conceptual artist Allan Bridge, also known as Mr. Apology. She met Allan in November 1980, a few weeks after he launched his groundbreaking project, the Apology Line. They spent the next 15 years together, until Allan’s untimely death in a scuba-diving accident in 1995.