Trains of thought: philosophy goes underground

Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:27am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Avril Ormsby

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Service announcements on the London Underground are no longer restricted to "Mind the Gap," but have been broadened to include the words of great thinkers such as Einstein and Goethe.

Passengers on the Piccadilly Line will be able to hear a range of philosophical, political and historical quotes from their drivers as they rattle through rail tunnels deep under the city.

The quotes, compiled by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, are part of a series of arts projects on the subway.

Staff are encouraged to use the quotes to talk directly to passengers, building a rapport and adding unexpected wit or insight during the commute, rather than relying on pre-recorded announcements.

"They are not doing it incessantly, but choosing their times deliberately," said Sarah McLean, spokeswoman for "Art on the Underground."

"When they need to make an announcement, they will look to use an appropriate quote."

The booklet "What is the City but the People," includes the following quotes:

"To live is to dream," Friedrich Schiller.   Continued...

<p>A Union Flag flies near an underground sign for Westminster tube station in London March 31, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>