Dialogue / You're Kidding Me!?

A wireless voice service that enable users to have simulated mobile-phone conversations, simply by calling a telephone number.
The automatic service is designed to assist insecure people at gallery openings, dark streets at night or at other public places where being alone and socially disconnected is no fun.
The service was first made in 2002 and later adapted for Index:2005 under the title "You're kidding me?!

Media coverage:

Wired | Politiken | Go Morgen P3 | Cover Magazine | DR P1 Kunstmagasinet Web: Museum of Hoaxes | Hulger | Random-Magazine | Detroit Arts | Textually | Intuity Media Lab | Gattaca Inc | Intra | Hypernarrative

SUMMARY (2002/03)

With the ubiquity of the mobile phone, private and public spaces are full of people in wireless conversations. However, we do not know whether people are really talking to someone - we simply assume that they are!

DIALOGUE is basically a phone number and a phone central that stores one or more soundtracks. When dialing the service number, the user is welcomed by a voice and subsequently told to repeat a set of words and sentences one by one. This will make people in close proximity believe that he/she is having a real conversation.

Research framework
Not so long ago (~1997) it was considered embarrassing to be talking on the mobile phone when being in public space. Only business-men, drug dealers or people who wanted to illude they belonged to one of these groups, used the mobile phone in public. It was accepted to respond to a call, but to keep the conversation going would make people look at you with disapproval. Today, the situation seems almost reversed. There's nothing more natural than to be on the mobile phone all the time - constant connectivity has become a mantra. Nobody wants to be disconnected.

DIALOGUE conceptualizes one of the communication paradoxes created by the mobile phone: When being on the phone, we may connect ourselves to someone far away, but at the same time we disconnect our immediate surroundings. DIALOGUE reverses the situation.

Overall, DIALOGUE plays with our need to be connected. More specifically, the purpose is:

To investigate the undiscovered potentials of the mobile phone as service device. Especially, in relation to services that are not conditioned by specific types of phones. Today, most wireless services are conditioned by certain terminals or software versions. Dialogue uses the mobile phone's lowest denominator: speech to voice.

To create a mobile phone service that - in contrast to existing services - does not reduce the mobile phone to a navigation-tool that only triggers events. How can the phone be uses to trigger our senses and create sensations?

To investigate how a 'placeless' art-structure is perceived and navigated by its audience and users when its location is blurred and the work itself is accessible from anywhere within a cellspace. New Media is often defined as being visual and thus possible to locate (displays, surfaces etc.) but by creating a pure wireless-audible structure the location is unclear. Furthermore, how is an artwork perceived when it's mediated via a personal device?