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Announcements, DIY, In the Wild, workshop

Payphone Hacking in Leimert Park

Ben Stokes, François Bar and Karl Baumann at USC have embarked on what they describe as a “5-week experiment at the cutting edge of music, transmedia, hack-a-thons, and neighborhood storytelling.” They’re placing tools and payphones ready to be re-imagined into the hands of local artists, students and hackers. Some early ideas include making the quarter deposit provide access to an MP3 by a local artist, or activate a local storefront display. It’s an utterly fascinating revival of what Charles R. Acland calls “residual media,” or “reconfigured, renewed, recycled, neglected, abandoned and trashed media technologies and practices.” Payphones are a dying breed, but that’s kind of the point: they have been freed from their established meaning – specific ways of punctuating urban space, user practices, and communication infrastructures – for new kinds of “serious play.” See their website at http://leimertphonecompany.net/.

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