Art installation using analog phones to bring people together


An art installation at Butler Memorial Park aimed to bring people together through the use of landlines.

Six phones were installed on a closed intercom system over the weekend. When someone picked up a phone, another in the park would ring, allowing people in the park to talk to each other from a distance.

“For some generations one of the things you do to pass the time is just pick up the phone and call a friend and chat and using those traditional phones I think is associated with a bit of nostalgia, ”Wayne said. Garrett, one of the artists.

Sunday’s installation was just a prototype for a future piece Garrett and Caitlind Brown are working on.

“The shape of the artwork is going to depend on our experience today,” Brown said. “So whatever happens, there will be some kind of household item element.”

The installation was only in progress for the weekend, but people can call 877-516-2990 to leave a message which will be used in the full installation.

“The content of those messages will be on the eventual facility’s voicemail so that if someone picks up a phone in the park and no one answers, then they will hear these messages that other people have left and they will have a chance to leave a message for the future, ”said Garrett.

A pop-up art installation connected Edmontonians. Sunday October 24, 2021 (CTV News Edmonton)

If this setup continues in the park, it will be sort of like a walkie-talkie system, so people who often use this space might see a friend on the other side of the park and the phone nearest to you. their friend will ring, ”Brown added.

“So it’s possible that phones are useful, but more than anything we imagine this idea, maybe people who don’t already know each other, like strangers, who have a conversation and connect in some way or another, even if it’s just voicemail.

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