The Urban Speaker is an art installation that transforms public space into an instant stage for mass communication. This portable urban furniture allows people to broadcast their voice in public by calling a telephone number from their mobile phones.
The Urban Speaker resembles construction signage and blends in with its urban surroundings. It consists of a tripod with an amplified loudspeaker, smartphone, battery and a traffic sign. The signage instructs passersby to dial a phone number to speak in public. Users who place the call get an automatic answer and can speak their mind for sixty seconds after which the call is terminated. A QR (Quick Response) barcode on the sign allows some mobile phones to instantly access the urbanspeaker.mobi website for location, event and other details as well as quick dialing of the installation’s phone.
The project explores the possibilities of “urban media spaces” created by the introduction of telecommunication and interactive technologies into our built environments. Temporary interventions such as this seek to re-imagine what our personal and social experience of public spaces can be in an age of ubiquitous nonstop communication.
Urban Speaker will premiere during the Conflux 2010 festival of psycho-geography in New York City. The installation can be viewed on Friday October 8th from 3pm-7pm in Tompkins Square Park, on the 7th St side between Avenues A & B.