Elementary Morality [by Aileen Drohan]

What: A project commissioned by Aileen Drohan
Info: Arduino + WaveShield + Light Sensor + relay = hacked rotary dial phone

Concept: ‘Elementary Morality’ is an interactive art installation involving a play on the ‘Red Phone’ or ‘Hot Line’ idea. The red phone allowed immediate communication on a secure line between the White House and the Kremlin during the cold war. It was was established in 1963. Direct communications between the two Nuclear Powers were deemed necessary following the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although the original red phone has been removed the idea of the ‘Hot Line’ still exists today in the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centre.

Playing on this idea of the ‘Hot Line’ and its’ association with responsibility, I have incorporated the red phone into my work as a device that transmits a message of most importance. When you get close enough to the phone and block the light sensor this will activate the phone bells and the phone will start ringing. Whoever picks up the handset will hear a message from the past. The message that will be heard is the voice of Noam Chomsky from a portion of a 2002 interview during which Chomsky speaks openly about his views on terrorism, US atrocities, war aims and the overall lack of elementary morality.


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