My(our)Way, a public project by Nick Tobier, will première on the streets of New York on Saturday, Aug. 16 as part of the NYC Department of Transportation’s public projects.
As the streets converge around Astor Place — cars and busses flowing north onto 4th Avenue, cyclists on Lafayette, pedestrians from 8th street heading east running into those from St. Marks making their way west — the form of Lower Manhattan pinches before it flares. Filled with hopes and dreams, aspirations and hassles, our fellow citizens are, at times, solitary protagonists in their own narrative — waking, walking, on their way to work, on their way home from work.
My (our) Way makes these individuals visible/audible, turning them, crank by crank, note by note, into an ensemble. As Cooper Union staff, Kmart cashiers, the last of the late night revelers and bystanders turn the handles of their small music boxes, the small voices of the solitary notes resonate with one another.
As they converge first by the Astor Place subway station (8:30 am), and later (10:30 am) on the steps of the Public Theater, reaching a cadence of near synchronicity, they play the 18 notes of “My Way” altogether until dispersing. For that moment, and perhaps for every morning thereafter, the possibility of individuals heading different directions becoming an ensemble united by simple action, this can be Our Way.