Telephone Hack Project


After talking with my professor Jessica Field, I’ve decided that the best route is to keep it simple and follow her project guidelines. By this I mean, stick to what she knows me for, environmentalism (from my Photosensor in the compost bin project). This is different from my original concept which would have been a rotary dial interactive family album. However, I ran the idea by a couple peers and they unanimously agreed that there should be an audio component since the dial is from a telephone and not a television. Futhermore, I decided to research a bit about antiques and came across a cool article from the NYTimes about steam punk.

I decided on this concept:

The rotary dial telephone is an old form of communication and technology more fit for human purposes has taken its place. In our human-centered world, many non-utilitarian things are not seen as valuable. An example are forests. Trees are cut down to make space for roads without consideration of wildlife. We forget that when we cut trees down we render hundreds of other life-forms homeless. Human disturbances work at an exponential scale, habitats are robust enough that a small disturbance will not affect the harmony between living species in a habitat, but each additional unit of destruction has an exponential effect on other organisms. My piece calls attention to some of the wildlife commonly neglected in the pursuit of human utilitarianism. By interacting with the rotary dial phone, users will remember the past and they will intuitively know that by spinning the dial they can connect with the different ambiguous symbols. After they hear the animal sounds they will understand that other things are forgotten too, wildlife.

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