Call Center
Sound sculpture for 168 telephones
Electro acoustic symphony by Jonas Runa in the work Call Center, by Joana Vasconcelos.

Call Center: Electroaccustic symphony for 168 telephones
Analog telephones, sound system, oscillaters driven by microcontroller
210 x 80 x 299 cm


Call Center is a multisensory experience:

1) the sculpture made of 168 telephones was conceived by Joana Vasconcelos
2) the sound-sculpture was created by Jonas Runa using the 336 telephone bells of Vasconcelos' sculpture

Jonas Runa transformed the sculpture Call Center, by Joana Vasconcelos, into a musical instrument through cuts and other subtle changes in the 336 bells of the 168 telephones that form the monumental "Beretta weapon", thus allowing the production of different musical notes. The artist also introduced a loudspeaker in the "gun barrel" and after creating this new musical instrument, Runa composed an electroacoustic symphony creating a sound sculpture integrated in Vasconcelos' work.

Globalization in the age of technoscience unfolds a new phenomenology of the presence, allowing our existence to be projected, simultaneously, into different spaces and different times. With light-speed satellite communications, the same voice may be heard live, both in the Sahara and China; the same image can be seen in Australia as well as in the Moon, at the same time.

The telephone is one of the clearest examples of the dissociation of our own presence. The sound of our voice is here, there and everywhere: it may no longer originate from our own mouth. This cleavage was the basis for a primordial type of electronic music, namely Musique Concrète. In the physical world, sounds follow causality to a large degree: An instrument only produces a sound as a result of a gesture made by a musician. When we decouple the physical action from it’s audible result, sound becomes pure sound, and not a consequence of anything else. It is itself, and, as pure sound, it requires a much more attentive listening.

While Science is mainly focused on reductionist approaches (“divide and conquer” strategies), it is up to Art to produce models of holistic unification. To compete with the atomic bomb, all the weapons of mass destruction and all the mind-controlling mass media, Art must abandon all traditional notions of Beauty.

A symphony of telephones played by a giant gun might thus compete with the horrors that can be seen in everyday television - the explosion of information symbolically unified in the immediacy of a sensation.

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