"Hold the Phone" Art Installation Now on Display

January 30, 2020

Updated, May 5, 2020: Audio from "Hold the Phone" is now available on our newly restored SoundCloud account, which you can access here:

You may also watch with subtitles on YouTube below:

Works from artists Emily Fitzgerald, Molly Sherman, Machado Mijiga and Sailor Winkleman will be featured all year long in an installation titled Hold the Phone, a Futel phone installed outside of Open Signal's side entrance on NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd and NE Graham street. Additionally, the phone offers free telephone calls, voicemail and telephone-mediated services.

Hold the Phone serves as an interactive and experimental sound art and storytelling project exploring topics vital to inner North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods. Projects will also be accessible from several public Futel locations in Portland, including SE Clinton St, SE Taylor St, NE Ainsworth St, NE Killingsworth Alley, NE Killingsworth St, and NE 8th St.

Here are the dates and descriptions of each featured artist:

Emily Fitzgerald & Molly Sherman
People’s Homes: Investigating Place with Portland’s Longtime Homeowners
January 22 - April 30

People’s Homes explores the often-overlooked experiences of Portland’s oldest homeowners in N and NE Portland and the local histories they carry. By sharing these stories, listeners are invited to reflect on their neighborhoods and acknowledge the past while recognizing the urban changes taking place around us.

Machado Mijiga
May 1 - August 14

Projections of the mind, figments of the imagination. What was here, is now there. What was once before, is now after. What was once yet to be, has now become itself. An auditory step out of the conscious mind, and into the subterfuge. A sonic journaling; a spattering of abstraction. A narrative lost in the fabric of reality; text-woven into the ornate veil of the superego. A voyeuristic monologue, that dialogues the diaspora of roots ... as heard through the speaker of a public telephone.

Sailor Winkleman
Futel Missed Connections
August 15 - November 30

Retrofitting the format popular on Craigslist for a public telephone, Futel Missed Connections will invite passersby to record short, anonymous audio messages and listen and reply to messages recorded on the NE MLK Futel phone. Missed connections are way to archive the way we encounter each other in public space, and to explore unfulfilled potentials. In gathering recordings of what could-have-been, Futel Missed Connections will superimpose a collective re-imagination onto the neighborhood, revealing the dreams and observations of those who co-occupy the space, and creating an opportunity to connect.

About Futel 

Futel has been delivering free public telephones to the community since 2014, with a total of 9 phones in the City of Portland, and 2 outside of the city. Futel believes in the preservation of public telephone hardware as a means of providing access to the agora for everybody, and toward that goal they are privileged to provide free domestic telephone calls, voicemail, and telephone-mediated services.

Selected projects will be installed at Open Signal and accessible from several public Futel locations in Portland, including SE Clinton St, SE Taylor St, NE Ainsworth St, NE Killingsworth Alley, NE Killingsworth St, and NE 8th St.

Projects will also be posted to Futel's online platforms:

Soundcloud, https://soundcloud.com/user-450753077

Futel blog, https://futelco.tumblr.com/

For more information about Futel visit, http://futel.net/ or call 503-468-1337.

This phone is funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

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