Art installation aims to connect people in west Edmonton
An art installation at Butler Memorial Park aimed to bring people closer together with the use of landline telephones.
Six phones were set up on a closed intercom system over the weekend. When soneone picked up one phone another one in the park would start to ring, allowing people in the park to talk to each other from afar.
“For some generations, one of the things you do to pass the time is just pick up the phone and call a friend and have a chat and using these traditional telephones, I think, has a bit of nostalgia associated with it,” said Wayne Garrett, one of the artists.
The installation Sunday was just a prototype for a future piece Garrett and Caitlind Brown are working on.
“The form of the artwork is going to depend on our experiment today,” said Brown. “So no matter what, there’ll be some sort of element of domestic object.”
The installation was only up for the weekend, but people can call 877-516-2990 to leave a message that will be used in the full installation.
“The content from those messages will be on the voice mail of the eventual installation so that if someone picks up a phone in the park and no one answers, then they’ll hear these messages that other people left and they’ll have a chance to leave a message for the future,” said Garrett.
A pop up art installation was connecting Edmontonians. Sunday Oct. 24, 2021 (CTV News Edmonton)
If this installation goes forward in the park, it’ll sort of be like a walkie-talkie system, so the people who use this space often, maybe they’ll see a friend across the park and the phone closest to their friend will ring,” added Brown.
“So there’s a possibility for the phones to be useful, but more than anything we imagine this idea of, maybe people who don’t know each other already, like strangers, having a conversation and connecting in some small way, even if it’s just a voice mail.”