Just back from my first *Mobile* Ringtone Performance Intervention. The Kennywood ringtone recording plans with Lori Hepner fell through this morning due to some unforeseeable circumstances, but Kennywood’s agreed to let me reschedule, and I managed, with the last minute help of my friend Chris Ivey to give the “public art on public transportation” performance a try. I have a new nickname for Chris–I’m going to call him St. Christopher. Whew! What a scramble.
I’m lucky I had some mint gum, cause other wise Chris mighta gotten motion sickness from looking through the lens and snapping pics of me flipping the sign on the bus. Thanks to the kind bus driver, Betty Cunningham, for welcoming us on her route this morning. I didn’t catch the afternoon driver’s name, but he was happy for us to be aboard, too.
The Port Authority Transit gave us VIP bus passes today so we could ride back and forth to Kennywood. Tim Frank (director of Creative Services for PAT) also made sure I also had a letter of introduction to share with the drivers, if necessary.
Passengers weren’t so sure about what I was doing (they didn’t know I had permission, and it’s something you wouldn’t expect to happen on a bus ride, afterall), but a really nice family of 4 who were headed out to Kennywood nodded when I asked if anybody wanted to hear any ringtones. The daughter in the family really liked the Horsie Montage Tone, but was kinda scared of the Hobo’s da Man Tone.
On the way back from Kennywood, one lady asked a bunch of questions about the project and took down the phone number for the “phone in a tone” line which has been created by deeplocal. A gentleman then asked me to remind him of the website address–which, by the way–went live today! I have loads of tones to upload, but if you go there right now, you can see the incredibly well-thought out and beautifully designed site that deeplocal gents have built to support the “tone bank” and take care of distribution (via MMS–Multimedia Messaging Service). Sebastian: you deserve a lot of kudos for all the hours you’ve put in on www.locallytoned.org.
So what else? I got a little wobbly, too–I have to figure out where to sit and what to look at when I’m flipping the sign; I think I will ask the Port Authority to “perform” in one of the “T” stations at rush hour (so I can stand still with the sign).
I tried sitting in the middle of the bus, the front of the bus (so I could flash the signs at people down the length of the bus who were facing me) and sitting in the back of the bus. The latter position provided me with a mini-theater where people were much more relaxed about looking at what I was doing (or so it seemed on today’s runs). I’ll keep these things in mind when I consider my next route and public transport ride. Thanks very much to the Port Authority for allowing me to promote my mobile phone/public art project on public transport today!