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Wake-up Call

We declared the moments in time changed by our calls to pay phones in the Columbia Center Mall to be our art. These calls created a change in the environment of the people walking by. We hoped to grab their attention for a few moments, bringing their attention to the almost unused communication devices that exist in the space. This project delivered two very interesting situations. First, the main drive and definition of the project, changing the moment for passersby, creating the unexpected in their environment, extending our telepresence into their use of the mall; effectively turning the pay phone into public space. Second, through the interaction with any answerers, we explore public and private space and the conflicts that exist within our understanding of them.

Our telepresence in these events is an attempt to extend the public sphere into the private space of the Columbia Center Mall. By making the overture of a ringing pay phone, we are asking for a dialogue. We receive a full range of responses: a curious or perhaps annoyed glance, the quick lift-and-replace by mall employees, giggling girls, obnoxious young men, curious passersby and a few extended conversations, some fewer of which carried through long enough for one of us to explain the project.

Artists: Tyler Butler, Amanda Cowell, Nancy Jewell and Peter Mikkelsen