A Heap of Dead Phones and a Slightly Changing Dial Tone (2016)
for about 300 Meridian office phones, 2 spot lights, and digital stereo sound
The telephone, a kind of time machine, can very literally take individuals across distances into other worlds of perception that our bodies cannot traverse. Telephony relies on echoes, historical copies of sound which allow individuals a mode of listening to the past, presently, across distances. A Heap of Dead Phones and a Slightly Changing Dial Tone is a memorial for about 300 dead Meridian office phones from the 1980’s. They were purchased for $29.70 through the St. Vrain Valley School District just outside of Denver. This heap, which is framed by spotlights, is superimposed with a slightly changing dial tone (350 Hz and 440 Hz) emanating from two speakers. The phones have now been recycled through the Cross Training Center in Omaha. This work was developed at The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.