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The installation is a piece of flexible urban furniture that made its first public appearance in Tompkins Sqaure Park, New York City on October 8th as part of the Conflux 2010 Festival. Approximately 200 phone calls were broadcasted in public during this four hour event. Click here to watch the video of its first performance.
“The Urban Speaker resembles construction signage and blends in with its urban surroundings. It consists of a tripod with an amplified loudspeaker, smartphone, battery and a traffic sign. The signage instructs passersby to dial a phone number to speak in public. Users who place the call get an automatic answer and can speak their mind for sixty seconds after which the call is terminated. A QR (Quick Response) barcode on the sign allows some mobile phones to instantly access the Urban Speaker website for location, event and other details as well as quick dialing of the installation’s phone.”
This project attempts to shed a new light on the role new media has on the way we actually communicate and interact with each other. More and more urban space is enhanced by media space as a place for debate and societal communication. Temporary interventions such as this one seek to re-imagine what our personal and social experience of public spaces can be in an age of ubiquitous non-stop communication.