Tile of Work: Stationary Mobile , 2019  
Artists: Aidan Power, Cassandra Merlihan, Hannah Sennik
Materials: Northern Telecom Model 500 Rotary Phone, WAV files, Arduino, Breadboard, Micro SD Card, Robojax Micro SD Storage Board Module for Arduino, Label Stock
For the collaborative mini project we chose a Model 500 Northern Telecom rotary phone as our found object. Conceptually, our piece tackles the evolution of communication and technology by contrasting a rotary phone with the mobile apps found on a modern phone. Using the physicality of the rotary phone to represent a past era of communication and altering its functionality, we incorporated the kinds of messages and information found on modern mobile applications. The messages found on the phone act as answers to questions we may have once asked our parents, neighbours or friends, but now rely on various technologies for the answers to.
The phone must be hung up before dialing another number, aligning with the standard nature of the phone call. Upon hanging up, the user ends the phone call, severing their connection with the person they were talking to, in the same way one may jump between or close apps on a phone. The mobile phone symbol is displayed in the center of the dial for aesthetics and consistency in use of graphics.
Each mobile application icon corresponds to an audio file that is reflective of its purpose, reduced to verbal communication. For example, if a user dials the Google Maps application, they will be able to listen to a recording of their “friend” giving them directions in the form of a conversation that relies more on the context of their surroundings than an algorithm that determines the most efficient way to get from point A to point B. 

Drawing inspiration from media scholar Sherry Turkle, who has written extensively on the art of conversation in the digital age, our piece aims to make users think about how they interact with their mobile technologies and the people in their lives. Her book Reclaiming Conversation was instrumental to the conceptualization of this piece, since it explores how we connect with others through our phones.
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