Category Archives: Project Updates

G20 Ringtone Workshop at Carnegie Mellon University

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Meet Liz–a sophomore School of Art student at Carnegie Mellon University. I worked with her during my G20 Ringtone Workshop today–showed her an overview of using the Phone-in-a-Tone line. We tested recording audio at different levels (distances from the audio source to the mic on her phone) and then listened to the tracks she created (via the Locally Toned admin site). As serendipity would have it, Liz had an earlier version of the same phone I have, so it was easy to show her the Record Sound feature on her phone (to give her more audio recording choices out in the field).

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I prepared a hand-out for students so they could have portable info out in the field, and shared some Locally Toned art cards (one of the project’s tone distribution methods). The hand-out also covered protocols for sending the project further information about tones recorded in the field and photo specifications for inclusion on the site and the blog. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Liz (and some of her other student ringtone agents) will get back to me with G20 tones.

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Thanks to Nathan Martin of deeplocal and Bob Bingham of CMU’s College of Fine Arts for hooking me up with the opportunity to share ringtone making and capturing approaches with students today.

The photos that follow are from The Cut/Fence on CMU’s campus–School of Art students had reserved it to do their protest thing. There is a tradition that students who want to work on the Fence have to camp out–dig some of the visual details from the structure/site built by these students.

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Performing Tones in Valencia, Spain at Forja ArteContemporáneo

No puedo hablar mucho Espanol, but I can point out tones to play from my tone menu (the apron)!

No puedo hablar mucho Espanol, but I can point out tones to play for people from my tone menu (the apron)!

Last night was the opening of the Transfer Lounge show at Forja ArteContemporáneo in Valencia where I performed Pittsburgh ringtones. The event was well-attended even though a couple of torrential downpours fell throughout the evening. Since I speak very simple Spanish, I felt a little bit shy approaching gallery visitors as I would in Los Estados Unidos. I switched up my approach a bit–I  walked around the space, playing/amplifying tones and drew attention to the project sin palabras (without words). I then visited with folks en Espanol when they stopped by my table to pick up some of the art cards. One major advantage to come from the experience of performing ringtones in Spain is the opportoneity to think about using my body to perform the tones (rather than just rely upon my brain/ language-center). Wow, I thought this morning–Note to Self: traveling to other places can help to inform and expand an artist’s practice and approach.

The event was catered by Absolut (what a great promotional idea for Absolut, and a help to artists and artist-run organizations!). I wondered if this sort of sponsorship from the company is accessible to artists’ organizations back home.

Absolut Bartenders at the Forja Opening (photo by Carolina Loyola Garcia)

Absolut Bartenders at the Forja Opening (photo by Carolina Loyola Garcia)

Although I didn’t have time to look carefully at all the artists’ work included in the exhibition, I spent a good deal of time last night being riveted by pieces from Christina Ghetti, Filippos Tsitsopoulos and Ima Picó–I can’t wait for Pittsburgh to see their work. I’ll be writing more about Ima Pico as her help capturing and identifying Valencian tones was a tremendous contribution to the project.

Ghetti's Installation at Forja

Ghetti's Installation at Forja

Video work by Fillippo

Video work by Fillippo

Co-curator Pico Standing near Her Own Work

Co-curator Pico Standing near Her Own Work

Another highlight of the show para mi, was a visit from Consulor Agent Dr. David Nordlund from the United States Department of State in Valencia.

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Foley, Nordlund y Loyola-Garcia

Carolina y yo were delighted to have a visit from Dr. Nordlund!  He took some pictures of the show but also took the time to visit with us (me, Carolina and Ima) about our work, Forja and the arts in general in Valencia. He even suggested that a return visit from Locally Toned might be an interesting idea (such as making Valencian tones during las Fallas?!). That would be fabulous! From what everybody tells me here about las Fallas (a week-long fiesta that runs in March of each year), that is certainly what Valencia sounds like.

Here are the photographic art cards from Pittsburgh that I took to the show. Hey, Caleb, HHOL, Peyton, horsies of Indiana, Erok, the Kennywood Merry-Go-Round, Bhante Maithrie, Coqui, and Stu, didja all know you came to Spain with me?

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Because I don’t have tone distribution for mobile phone companies that operate in Spain, I came up with the clever idea (with Curator Loyola-Garcia’s help) of pasting [shortened] mp3 URLs on the backs of the cards so folks could easily access the audio files to download the tones to their European phones.

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These last photos are documentation of performative moments taken by Ima’s friend Sonia (and Valencian ringtone contributor). Thanks for including my work in the show, Carolina, and thanks Ima and to Forja’s Toni Calderón for their help and hospitality!

carolina y yo

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Sometimes a ringtone sounds so good, you have to close your eyes and listen.

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Locally Toned Travels to Valencia, Spain

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I arrived in Valencia, Spain yesterday (Woo-Hoo!) where I’ll do a ringtone performance at the opening of the Transfer Lounge exhibition I’m part of at Forja ArteContemporáneo, Valencia, the 17th of September 2009 at 8pm. The show’s been curated by Pittsburgh’s Carolina Loyola Garcia, and the Spanish part of the project has been curated/coordinated by Toni Calderon and Ima Pico of Valencia.
The card I’m holding here has “YOU SHOULD BE A RINGTONE” on one side and the Locally Toned project description on another. I speak a little Spanish, but mostly *Mexican* Spanish and in the present tense, so I thought this little card might be useful when I’m approaching strangers and am hoping to capture Valencian tones.

I brought 10 Pittsburgh ringtones with me to Valencia (a brand new art card series!), and I’ll (hopefully) bring 10 Valencian ringtones back to Pittsburgh (where the show will run at SPACE Gallery from October 2nd-17th of November). I’ll be sure to post the new series of Pittsburgh cards later.

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NEW Locally Toned T-Shirts: YOU SHOULD BE A RINGTONE

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Just got new Locally Toned ladies’ t-shirts printed this week. I’m selling them as a fundraiser for the project. $20 plus shipping and handling. They are white scoop-necked bella 100% cotton t-shirts, of the flattering “girlie” cut. Sizes are S, M, L and XL. The front says “YOU SHOULD BE A RINGTONE” and the back says “locallytoned.org.” You can order one via my project email address: locallytoned@gmail.com.

Muchísimas gracias to smart home researcher and designer Scott Davidoff for helping me with print layout and for suggesting the awesome font (News Gothic MT)!

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Photo from *Mobile* Ringtone Performance at PAPA 12 World Pinball Championship

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The awesome artist Mike Budai (whom I’d heard lots and lots about but never got to meet until this World Pinball Championship…) made a great suggestion when we visited (as I was out doing the *mobile* ringtone performance at PAPA in Scott Township on Saturday).  He said, “Why don’t you go over there and take your picture standing by that game?  The guy on the side of that game has a very similar belt thing strapped to his waist!  Check it out.”

I couldn’t believe it, the guy on the side of the game did have a device around his waist almost like mine, and thanks to a pal strolling in with his camera, artist Alexi Morrissey, here’s my Tone Ranger shot (thanks to City Paper for that cool moniker!).

Thanks, Budai and Alexi!  Here’s Budai’s awesome PAPA 12 print:

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Preview of Pinball Art Cards for *Mobile* Performance at PAPA 12 World Pinball Championships (8/15/09)

Aces & Kings Pinball Art Card

Aces & Kings Pinball Art Card

I’ll be doing a *mobile* ringtone performance on Saturday August 15th from 4-6pm at the PAPA (Professional and Amateur Pinball Association) 12 World Pinball Championships in Scott Township.  Look for me somewhere outside the venue (rather than inside).  I’ll want folks to hear the tones as I broadcast them–that wouldn’t be possible inside… The best directions are here (PAPA recommends you do not follow the Google Maps route). If you want some cards, be sure to show up for that. Check out these beautiful Pinball Art Cards made specially (by me) for the  this weekend.

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Mata Hari Pinball Art Card

The back of the cards have texting codes so you can have these specific codes messaged back to your phone!

The back of the cards have texting codes so you can have these specific codes messaged back to your phone!

Xenon Pinball Art Card

Xenon Pinball Art Card

Thanks to PAPA for underwriting the printing of the art cards and thanks to Forward Litho for printing these lovely cards (truly excellent color copies) in a pinch!  Bill (at Forward Litho) helped me pick the final images from his computer screen just yesterday.

Here are the rest of the cards in the series (eight cards total):

High Speed Alert Signal Pinball Art Card

High Speed Alert Signal Pinball Art Card

Old School Pinball Tone Art Card

Old School Pinball Tone Art Card

High Speed Pinball Art Card

High Speed Pinball Art Card

"300" Bowling Pinball Art Card

"300" Bowling Pinball Art Card

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Katherine Fink’s Interview with T. Foley about Locally Toned on WDUQ 90.5FM

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Katherine Fink’s Locally Toned story aired this morning on 90.5 WDUQ.  If you missed it, click here to listen to the interview.

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Photos from *Mobile* Ringtone Performance at the Gallery Crawl by Larry Rippel

Inside SPACE gallery with assistant Brittany Kennedy, Coutney Erlichman & Talulah

Inside SPACE gallery with assistant Brittany Kennedy, Coutney Ehrlichman & baby Talulah

Pittsburgh’s Larry Rippel took some excellent photographs documenting my performance at the Gallery Crawl last night.  Thanks, Larry!  Please visit his photoblog to see the full series.

Near 801 Penn Ave.  Photo by Larry Rippel

Near 801 Penn Ave. Photo by Larry Rippel

The short report:  I kept getting failed connection messages on Twitter, so couldn’t post my locations.  When the downpour began, we took shelter in SPACE gallery on Liberty Avenue.  That’s where I found out that BABIES LOVE RINGTONES!

Peter Kope and the Attack Theater Baby Love Ringtones!

Peter Kope and the Attack Theater Baby Love Ringtones!

Brittany Kennedy, my little sister, was my hired *Mobile* assistant for the evening, and I hired Keith Tassick to capture some video.  Thanks again to the Fine Foundation for the recent award!

Keith on Video; Emmett Frisbee & Meagan O'Toole Nearby

Keith on Video; Emmett Frisbee & Meagan O'Toole Nearby

James Gray welcomed us at the new Dozen Bake Shop Location, and then we scouted for a quiet location away from bus traffic where I could play the tones off the amplification belt pretty loudly.  We certainly had a fun time out near 801 Penn Ave.

Talking with a Crawl-Goer about Ringtones.

Talking with a Crawl-Goer about Ringtones.

The device around my waist that looks like a speaker is a waist-belted amplifier.  It worked pretty darn well!  The most popular tone distributed last night was Dr. Nelson Harrison‘s Trombetto Blue. That art card looked like this:

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Drawings Completed for Gallery Crawl “Art Cards”

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I ain’t decided on the exact drawings to use for the limited edition of art cards that my residency co-host Encyclopedia Destructica will be printin’ up for me–but here they are.  I’ll probably want input on making the decision fo rthe 10 cards, likely based on potential popularity of the tone + the way the images look.  These are for the *mobile* ringtone performance I’ll be doing at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s July 17th Gallery Crawl.  You can read more about what I’ll be doing here.

Mind you, now.  Some of these tones ain’t been released yet…  Soon!

Do you have a favorite drawing or tone?  Please comment.

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MICKENSCARD

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bicyclebellCARD

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taylorCARD

roebCARD

sugargliderCARD

dilworthCARD

hylaCARD

horsieCARD

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Mobile Ringtone Performance Intervention on 61c

IT'S TRUE:  DIAL 412.837.4028

IT'S TRUE: DIAL 412.837.4028

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.

St. Christopher

St. Christopher

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.

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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.

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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).

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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!

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