Your Attention Please! Ignore This Message.

“Continuity seems lacking in a wold full of separately conceived physical entities all competing for space and attention, all without concern for what is nearby, and masked by portals, links, and signs to someplace else.”

Malcolm McCullough, Ambient Commons

Your Attention Please! Ignore this Message is a reflection on how our sensory field often refers to someplace else; it considers the role of sounds, particularly cell phone sounds, in the ambient commons.

The installation was made at a time when the ubiquitous use of smartphones was a fairly new phenomenon, when cell phone rings and bells could be heard frequently in the public space and most phones alerts sounded the same. Is that you or me? was a common question we asked each other when we could not decipher whose cell phone was ringing. Messages that were not intended for us demanded our attention.

Cell Phone “bells” played intermittently during the exhibition Break It! Build it!
The public was invited to call in from outside locations and make the cellphone ring in the gallery.
A summary of the bell and chime sounds found
on an iPhone in 2014.

Exhibited as part of Break It! Build It!
Curated by DJ Hellerman
Burlington City Arts Gallery, July 25, 2014 – September 13, 2014