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The Missing Voice at The Whitechapel Gallery

Home > London > Walks | Fun Things To Do | Art
by Yaniza Doré (subscribe)
Hi! I'm a university student from New York City currently studying abroad in London. I'm studying Psychology and English literature, but my main passion is singing. Get to know me on youtube, too!
Published March 31st 2013
Was that a real car? Or was it in your head?
If you're in the mood for an adventure that messes with your senses but doesn't mess with your wallet, you want to go on The Missing Voice (Case Study B) walk, starting at the Whitechapel Gallery.

This free exhibit begins inside the gallery, where you are given an iPod with a track that features the voice of Janet Cardiff. The recorded voice has an eerily realistic feel to it, almost as if Cardiff is actually in the room with you. She guides you outside of the Whitechapel and points out buildings that exist along the way. As you walk down the street, you may find yourself thinking "how did she know that there was a KFC there?!" But, the most mind-boggling parts of the walk involve the sounds. You may hear a car passing by, but when you look back, there is nothing there. Was it in the recording? Or did you miss something?

Cardiff takes you on her walk to discover the ambitions of mysterious people who she encounters along the way, and you never know who's voice is going to take over the mic.

At only 50 minutes in length, The Missing Voice is a fun and easy way to get to explore East London without a boring tour guide or an expensive destination. This walk is absolutely free. All you have to do is provide the worker at the counter with a valid credit card in exchange for the iPod with the track on it, and then return it when you're done. No harm is done to your credit card. Their sole purpose of taking it is to ensure that you don't run away with a free iPod.

While most of the walk is outdoors, I found it difficult to be distracted by the weather. My friends and I went on The Missing Voice when it was lightly snowing, and we barely noticed. Going on the walk with friends adds extra fun, and you each get your own iPods, just make sure to start them at the same time.

The Missing Voice is a great psychologically engaging experience for people on a budget and/or short of time.
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Why? It's fun, unusual, and free!
When: All year round
Phone: 44 (0)20 7522 7888
Where: Whitechapel Gallery
Cost: Free
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