May 16, 2012

Conversations, 2012

Brandon Locher is a cool dude that runs an artist/musician collective based out of Johnstown, Pennsylvania called My Idea Of Fun. One of the collective's most recent releases, Conversations, 2012, is a collection of recordings that Locher made himself, based on the idea of the good ol' prank phone call. The concept and process behind Conversations, 2012 can be found on the MIOF website:
After the first conversation "Person 001: Hello. Hello?" was recorded and documented, I then proceeded to call another random person with a playback recording of the previous person's response. The person that is being called and recorded is fooled into thinking they are talking to an actual person when only they are responding to a recording of the previous conversation. As I move through the same process for each conversation, more information develops, and the concrete themes and ideas start to form more complex exchanges between the people and the recording.
The project brings to mind a lot of technology-related scenarios that we face today in this weird, modern world, what with pre-recorded messages and the computerized phone help systems that most large companies use. Even the (real) guy in the recording that works at Game Stop answers the phone with a pre-decided, mandatory greeting about a new game they're trying to sell. So what does exactly constitute a "conversation"?

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that these recordings are pretty hilarious. Humans are so gullible and cute! Take a listen below, and remember, if your number is listed in the Johnstown Area phone book, you might be next.

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