As the result of a collaboration between David Elliot, Patrick Tierney and myself (plus the amazing design work from Tiffany Pan) we were accepted into ISEA 2009 (the International Symposium on Electronic Arts), being held this year in different venues across Ireland. The opening of the exhibition was yesterday, August 7th.
This project proposes a do-it-yourself, decentralized bulletin board system that uses FM radio for transmitting messages received by phone. In addition, each transmitter node in the system is capable to connect with other physically-near nodes in a mesh-network fashion. In this way, the resulting array of low-power radio transmitters can still cover a large area, while rendering localization methods aimed at single, high power transmitters useless.
Right now a prototype of this system is up and running at the Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast, North Ireland, as part of ISEA 2009. It can receive phone calls from all over the world, which will be broadcasted inside the gallery and played back by improvised radio receivers located at the venue. If you ‘d like to leave a message, please make a call to this number: +353 1484-5987 (+353 is the country code of Ireland, so for instance to call from the USA you have to dial 011 353 etc).
For further information about this project, please visit its website. The playback client that downloads the messages from the telephony server and creates a playlist for broadcast is available as an open source project at github, written entirely in Python.