A public space project involving public telephones and an installation of old grey telephones. (2006)
In November 2006 the Norwegian artist duo Habbestad&Larsson created a project called telart_automat - the last in a series of work all encompassing the social and technological field of telephones. The work is a three-legged project consisting of a series of modified phone booths, a sound installation and a telephone server providing contact with the telephone users.
It has been exhibited in Stavanger, Oslo and Bergen.
During a period of a couple of weeks people in the city could engage with the phone booths and leave messages of a wide array of topics to be communicated to an anonymous audience of phone users in the area. This slight transformation or pervertion of the phone system allowed the artists to create a large network of knowing and unknowing people - communicators, receivers, participators - all connected solely by the art world.
As telart's phone system and the messages it was collecting grew during the period it was exhibited, a sound installation was slowly evolving in an indoor gallery space. The collected messages found their way and place into a installation of old school analogue phones for people to eavesdrop. Here, a true sonic x-ray of the project was present, displaying not only the multitudes of messages mediated but also the vocal fingerprints of the people behind them.
Who to call and what to say are not the questions nor the answer.