Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Telectroscope

Hullo London. URaQT :)


This steampunk art project proves that it isn't new technology that makes modern communication shallow, it's us.
And you know what? I couldn't care less.


This fabulous thing is the 'telectroscope' and it lived at the Walt Whitman Pier in Brooklyn for the past month. (Sorry, this post fell victim to my flickr debacle, so the installation closed this Sunday)

The brainchild of British artist Paul St. George, there is a whole backstory to this project which can be found at tiscali telectroscope


The short version is that he asks us to imagine that there is a transatlantic tunnel connecting London to New York that has remained undisturbed for a hundred years awaiting the installation of a nineteenth century communication device known as a 'telectroscope'.

Sound familiar?

For those of you who don't know, Brooklyn is home to the oldest Subway tunnel in the world, which was actually 'lost' and remained undisturbed for more than a hundred years until it was rediscovered in 1981. Atlantic Avenue Tunnel

It's pretty amazing. You go down through a manhole cover in the middle of Atlantic Avenue into this perfectly preserved abandoned space.
Go. Do it.



Back to the telectroscope...


Considering how cool the thing itself is, the majority of people looking at each other through it are remarkable only for their unremarkableness. The telectro - helpers have whiteboards on which to write messages, most of which say things like "Hi", "You're Cute!" or "How's the weather?"
On the London end, even the Queen joined in the fun to look through the simulated 'viewer' and wave randomly to passing New Yorkers.
I wonder what she wrote on her whiteboard?
(Photo of the Queen by Matthew Andrews)


Why did I like the telectroscope?
Well somewhere in London there's a couple that wrote this message to me...

"Nice Bike"

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