German artist Martin Kippenberger once proposed a subway system for the entire world, connecting Los Angeles to Helsinki, Tokyo to Rome, Münster to Dawson City. Greek islands, Canadian towns, Swiss lakes, pharaonic tombs – there would be entrances everywhere.
So Kippenberger actually began building these things – doors in the earth, leading nowhere – including this portable subway entrance.
But then he died.
The project ended.
Here are some construction specs and photo-speculative images to ponder.
So who's up for re-starting this thing? After all, an entrance was built on the roof of the World Trade Center – but, even though the towers have been destroyed, the entrance is still there, hovering invisibly above Manhattan. It leads to an unexplored subcavern deep inside Mammoth Cave – where you'll find a door to the Vatican. Which leads to the International Space Station. Which leads to the aerotropolis. Which connects onward to Cape Farewell, via the Cabinet Magazine National Library. Rumor has it, an Australian bone surgeon once uncovered another entrance in a patient's rib. Eve was an entrance.
(Thanks to Brand Avenue for pointing out Kippenberger's project to me – nearly seven months ago. And thanks to Andrew Blum for reminding me of The New Yorker cover, above, which I've been saving in a box of files since August 2002).