Satz, Aura, 2014, Show, Exhibition or Event, Dial Tone Operator
|Abstract or Description:||
Dial Tone Operator is a sound installation offering a disorienting experience of the dial tone as spatialized binaural music, composed from vintage recordings of telephone sounds, interwoven with spoken word and song by vocalists Elaine Mitchener and Jennifer Walshe. Early telephone operators were women, "weavers of speech" who provided seductive efficient voices and cheap labour, plugging lines in and out of a circuit. Automatic dial systems were developed to replace them, reducing costs and ensuring the privacy of the interlocutors. The dial tone plays when the telephone is off-hook, indicating that the system is live and a telephone number can be dialled, a sustained signal of 'lines open', awaiting transmission and connectivity. The composition suggests an experience of tuning in and tuning out, amplifying the multitude of voices in the ether, the meaningful and meaningless messages in a state of constant transmission. Using the dial tone and electric hum as drone music, the piece stimulates the nervous system by providing a constant sound within which the mind can go back and forth (either due to acoustic illusions, binaural effects or shifts in tone). Listeners are invited to immerse themselves in the intimate telephonic headphone encounter at the end of the corridor, lose themselves in the subtleties of a sustained note, and hum along. In addition to vintage headphones the installation features an original switchboard operator mouthpiece, which would have originally served to amplify the operator's voice as a hornlike contraption resting on their sternum. As a telephonic relic, it suggests that a person might speak into it, or that the wall itself is an operator.
Publication: 'Mirrorcity' Newspaper, edited by Tom McCarthy.
|Subjects:||Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art|
|School or Centre:||School of Fine Art|
|Date Deposited:||09 Dec 2016 15:40|
|Last Modified:||09 Dec 2016 15:40|
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