Wooden K2 Telephone Kiosk, Burlington House entranceway, Piccadilly W1J 0BD
19th September 2014 – 3rd May 2015.
Derived from the Greek words tēle and phōnē which translate as Far Voice; the telephone was invented to carry voices across long distances, collapsing time and space by doing so. A national system of telephone networks in the early twentieth century enabled this new technology to spread throughout the streets, revolutionising our ability to communicate with each other. Once regarded as a pinnacle of technological innovation, the telephone kiosk is now on the verge of obsolescence as our instinct to communicate continues to shape and shift new mobile technologies today.
The first red telephone kiosk designed in 1924 by renowned architect Giles Gilbert Scott is the site for four new sound works commissioned by Measure, a non-for-profit arts organisation. The historic structure installed under the entranceway to Burlington House, Piccadilly was the only wooden prototype made of this iconic design.
Marking the 90th anniversary, Measure presents a programme of sonic compositions by UK-based artists. Presented consecutively artists Holly Pester, Aura Satz, Dan Scott and Lawrence Abu Hamdan each probe the cultural role of the public telephone, its technological design and its relevance as a site for solitary conversation within a bustling central London setting.
Drawing upon her recent residency at the Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths, poet and writer Holly Pester plays with the gendered history of gossip whilst sound and film artist Aura Satz approaches the electronic dial tone as an open field of creative potential, in conversation with computer music pioneer Laurie Spiegel. Referencing Thomas Edison’s spirit phone, Dan Scott focusses on the relationship between the telephone and other worlds, including the afterlife, and Lawrence Abu Hamdan continues his research into the role of the voice in law by revealing the act of listening as a form of witnessing.
Telephone is co-curated by Measure and Poppy Bowers.
Supported using public funding from the Arts Council of England
Telephone is kindly supported by Callagenix