Category Archives: Project Updates

Locally Toned Performs in Baltimore (Megapolis 2010)

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New Short Code (25252) for Locally Toned

Locally Toned is transferring to a new short code–25252. Yippee!

The new short code works much better! The old short code, 79649 (which seemed to be causing some trouble, even for my phone), will be discontinued/obsolete in a few days. So stop using it. NOW.

What is short code? It is used as part of a method to deliver ringtones directly to cell phones, via MMS (multi media messaging). It’s one of the ways folks may send/issue requests to Locally Toned to have ringtones sent right back to their very own cell phones. You may have noticed it on the backs of project art cards and on the Locally Toned (ringtone) distribution site, in sentences like this:  “Text TONES 231 to 25252 to get this tone sent to your phone.”

Mucho thanks to deeplocal for today’s technical upgrade, with special thanks to their CTO David Evans, who maneuvered that big switch today. Dave also made some adjustments on the back end of the Locally Toned site to allow mp3s to be sent directly to iPhones (he wanted one tone in particular for his iPhone).

Please note that if you’re an iPhone user, you’ll still need to convert the files to the m4r format–a recipe for that is here.

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Locally Toned’s Goin’ to Berlin This Summer! (Foley Receives Artist Opportunity Grant from GPAC)

Big News! Locally Toned will Travel to Berlin this summer thanks to an Artist Opportunity Grant from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

The funding will help with my travel to and from Europe, where I’ll participate in S.LOW, a month-long, cross-disciplinary event organized by artist by Ima Picó. Yippee!

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Translatin’ Locally Toned

The other day when I was perusing this Blog’s referrers (or as describes the term, “People clicked links from these pages to get to your blog.”), I stumbled upon this Google translation of the page for Ye Old School Bell Tone. Nice to see the blog in another language!

I typed the phrase: translate “Käännä kielestä” into Google and it turns out it’s Finnish! Someone’s reading Locally Toned in Finnish! Awesome.

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Locally Toned to Perform at Megapolis 2010!

Locally Toned has received an invite to perform at this year’s Megapolis (audio art) Festival in Baltimore, Md (May 14-16, 2010). Woo-hoo! Click here to read more about the festival.

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Locally Toned’s Visual Project Maps

Visual Map for Mobile Ringtone Performance

Locally Toned has some new visuals–project maps which help me to describe the whole or aspects of this public art/original ringtone creation project to others.

In my last post, I mentioned that I’m very interested in how a work is perceived by its many audiences. This information can be useful. It’s important for artists to develop a skill set to help them to promote their work, for how they perceive and describe what they do is often first way an audience, curator, or journalist encounters their work.

Welp, I’m thankful to Nathan Martin for his summary of Locally Toned in Contagious Magazine (in the opinion piece entitled, “GutterTech: Squinting at Technology“). It helped me to see a more complete picture of my project, and to make some new visual tools to describe and promote my work. Here’s a paragraph from the article:

“It is the experience, not the technology, that makes Locally Toned stand out. It is simple, fun and clever. Anyone can be or create a ringtone, and when T. Foley gets in your face on a bus or while roving the streets in a custom ringtone collection outfit, armed with a megaphone, people happily create their own tone. She thought of Gumband not as technology, but as a facilitator of her idea.”

After my first read of the article, I thought, “Getting in people’s faces? Roving streets in a custom ringtone collection outfit? Being armed with a megaphone? That’s me?!

Performing at the July 2009 Gallery Crawl, Pittsburgh. Photo by Larry Rippel

That’s me.

When Martin presented his take on the work I’ve been doing, he shared a snapshot I wasn’t familiar with. I’d been so busy working at close range, developing content (making ringtones with collaborators, taking photographs, archiving project components, blogging and performing), that I hadn’t noticed how all the facets of the project come together. The paragraph that Martin wrote, helped me to conceptualize new visual tools to help answer the question, “What is Locally Toned?”

Visual Map for Ringtone Art Cards

Visual Map: Open Ringtone Recording Session

Martin’s verbal snapshot left me with two useful questions: How do I tell the story of the work I’m doing on this project? and How can I tell the story? Mulling it over, I realized that I most often answered questions with words (written or spoken). Sometimes my words were peppered with photographs (when I had the opportunity to share images). But was there a more efficient or interesting way to communicate the scope of work within the project? What if I could put all those elements into a visual map of some sort? And what if I could add dynamic media (audio and video) to the map?

I began by making some still images to supplement applications I prepared for conferences (the visual maps above). If I was proposing to attend a conference to do a *Mobile* Ringtone Performance, I could illustrate the components of the performance–the amplifier, the ringtone art cards, and the ‘custom ringtone collection outfit.’ Once I made a few of these images, I was excited to note that if I made an introductory project map online, it could also contain moving pictures and audio files. Check out this online project “map” to see how I’m working with that concept. And check back later, too–these visual project maps are still a work-in-progress.

P.S. Thanks to Larry Rippel for so many of these photographs–I’ll be sure to credit your work in the final drafts!

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Locally Toned Mentioned in Contagious Magazine, Issue #21

More good news for Locally Toned! Mention of this original ringtone creation project appeared in Contagious Magazine in an opinion piece called “GutterTech: Squinting at Technology” by Nathan Martin, CEO of deeplocal (one of this project’s Old and New Media residency co-hosts).

Contagious (out of London, England) describes itself as a “magazine, DVD and online resource, covering topics such as: branded content; mobile marketing; social networking; user-generated content; word of mouth; viral; interactive; blogs; video games; retail initiatives; design innovations and emerging technologies.”

How’d Nathan Martin get invited to pen an opinion piece for the journal/consulting resource?

In October of 2009, deeplocal/Standard Robot‘s the Nike Chalkbot made the cover of Contagious Magazine. And in December of 2009, the Chalkbot made the magazine’s “Most Contagious 2009” list.

What’s the Chalkbot? A robotic chalking mechanism that receives, processes, prints, captures and delivers data (text, GPS coordinates and photographs). Both deeplocal and Standard Robot worked with Nike’s agency, Wieden+Kennedy, to design and develop the pneumatic robot and software system for Lance Armstrong’s Live Strong campaign/foundation during the 2009 Tour de France. Armstrong’s foundation helps raise awareness, fund research and end the stigma about cancer that many survivors face.

There was also a good deal of online conversation about the Chalkbot coming from artist/activists. It’s worth sharing that info, too, as I’m very interested in how a work is perceived by its many audiences (I’ll be writing my next post about a shift in perspective about Locally Toned that was afforded to me by Martin’s opinion piece appearing in Contagious).

The Chalkbot is similar to contemporary artist/activist projects like GrafittiWriter and StreetWriter by the Institute for Applied Autonomy and BikesAgainstBush by Josh Kinberg.

If you’re interested in reading some of the non-corporate news about the Chalkbot, read IAA’s press release which states that, “The Nike Chalkbot is nearly identical to the ‘Streetwriter’ we began developing ten years ago.” Or click that BikesAgainstBush link (above) to read about Kinberg’s project and the story he tells leading up to his opinion: “What’s really important is the particular context and action in which the device is used that really makes the statement. In these three cases you have the DARPA Challenge (IAA), the 2004 Republican National Convention protests in NYC (BikesAgainstBush), and the 2009 Tour De France / Livestrong Campaign (Chalkbot).”

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Locally Toned Receives Grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation

I’m delighted to announce that Locally Toned has received a grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation. The funds will support an interim phase of research, assessment and future planning. That means that I’ll continue to make, post and distribute new ringtones, will conduct further readings and research, and will complete some lively (motion picture) project documentation. I’ll also be working on drawing up a plan for future project sustainability. Time to get busy–new ringtones coming next week!

Thanks to The Pittsburgh Foundation for supporting Locally Toned!

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Locally Toned Ringtone Heard Today in the Weldon Library in London, ON, Canada

Photo 10

This is my good friend and a long-distance adviser to the project Nick Fox-Gieg. This morning I received an email from him with a 10:20am time stamp on it. His exact words:

“So right now I’m in a library in London, ON…and someone’s cellphone goes off…and–it’s your pinball ringtone!”

Excited by the news, I asked Nick to take a pic of himself in the library and send it to me so I could blog about his ringtone sighting hearing! Thanks for keeping your, um, ears peeled, Nick! Readers, check out his work. It’s AWESOME.

I don’t know what pinball ringtone went off in that libray, but my favorite one from the PAPA series is the Mata Hari Pinball Tone. You can hereread the story about that tone here.

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A Locally Toned Dream Come True! Foley hears a project ringtone on a stranger’s phone in public!


Brooke holds my "Lucy Tugboat Plus Bell Tone" art card from the Dividing the Goose show at Future Tenant gallery.

This is Brooke Sumner. She works for the Federal Courts and is a local supporter of the arts. Last Friday, she totally made my night.

I was sitting with friends chowing down on Greek food at Salonika Gyros after my performance at the Transfer Lounge opening at SPACE gallery when I thought I heard the sound of the bell from Jill’s Ye Old School Bell Tone. I was a bit confused, though, because I heard some spoken word audio playing along with it. As I was trying to figure out what was going on, my friend (and project advisor) Jen Morris looked at me and said, “Is that one of your ringtones playing?”

Yes, it was!

Brooke had just come from the Crawl with her friends Ryan Meanor and Michael Danehower–they’d stopped by Future Tenant, where they’d seen my Alice Out of the Basement ringtone art cards in the Dividing the Goose (fairy tale) show. Brooke picked some of the cards up and used the texting code on the back a card to send the Lucy Tugboat Plus Bell Tone directly to her phone!

I went straight over to their table, introduced myself and told Brooke and her friends that they made one of my Locally Toned project dreams come true (my wish to hear one of the project tones on a stranger’s phone in public)!

From left to right: Michael Danehower, Brooke Sumner and Ryan Meanor with T. Foley.

From left to right: Michael Danehower, Brooke Sumner and Ryan Meanor with T. Foley. Photo by Jen Morris.

Thanks, Brooke (and friends) for being tuned-into the Pittsburgh arts scene!

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