Tag Archives: Atlantic Center for the Arts

Ecstatic Saint Tone (with Inês Salpico) Valencia, Spain


Inês Salpico is an artist from Portugal who currently lives in Barcelona, Spain. I met her at the Atlantic Center for the Arts earlier this year within their wonderful (Associate Artist) residency program. We collaborated there on a project called Neat Series. Since I was able to travel to Spain for the Transfer Lounge show at Forja ArteContemporáneo this September, Inês and I decided to spend a weekend working together again in Valencia (and seeing some of the sites). We, of course, came up with some audio content.

Inês and I visited a few churches in Valencia.

Ceiling of the Real Basilica De Nuestra Señora De Los Desamparados

Ceiling of the Real Basilica De Nuestra Señora De Los Desamparados

Looking up at the micalet (bell tower) of the cathedral in Valencia, Spain.

Looking up at the micalet (bell tower) of the cathedral in Valencia, Spain.

We became interested in the saints’ cards in the one of the church gift shops, and upon noticing that Inês looked like one of the saints, we decided to do a little photo shoot in the hotel stairwell–we’d already done an audio recording session, because I noticed that our shoes made really interesting squeaky sounds on the marble floors of the stairwell. Inês’ sandals were the best, so I spent some time recording that audio.



The following photograph I took of Inês as a saint inspired me to think about creating a ringtone.


I thought about the mystic saints (the saint on this card did not look like a martyr to me). And when I read that St. Thomas Aquinas experienced an ecstasy during a church service towards the end of his life that caused him to stop writing, I thought about the other audio I captured in Valencia.

My last day in the city, I captured a bit of organ music from the doorway of a church during the conclusion of a Sunday Mass. For this tone, I slowed it down, ran it backwards and then added bits of Ines’s super slowed down sandal-squeaking to the mix.

Here’s Neat Series’ Ecstatic Saint Tone. Thanks to my collaborator and dear friend Inês Salpico for her contribution to the Valencian tone bank!

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Two Months Into the Project…

Locally Toned Undies

Locally Toned Undies

Two months into the project, and it’s time to pretend that I’m giving a press conference, and I’ve been asked the following questions (which I’ll gladly answer for you down below [well, really and truly, I need to do this for myself to assess what’s happened thus far, and to keep on top of the project]).

Ms. Foley, how does what you proposed to do during the residency, through your public art project Locally Toned, compare to the experience you’ve had actually working on the project these past two months?

When I wrote the proposal, my goal was to work with 25 individuals and capture 25 ringtones in each of the “production” months (May and June).  I had absolutely no idea that I would encounter people who had numerous tones or ideas for ringtones.  Nor did I realize that I’d encounter environments (such as Patusan Farm) so rich with audio possibilities, that I’d be drawn to capture much more than I’d set out to.

This month I posted 21 new ringtones (though I received many more).  I worked with 10 people whom I ended up profiling on the site (12 if you count the first “Missed Oppor-TONE-ity“).  Other ringtone contributors are waiting in the wings.  What I didn’t account for in the proposal was a good estimate of the time it would take to talk with people about the project, to encourage ringtone “idea” submissions from the public, to blog, to negotiate exhibition opportunities, and to work on the website and project design with my residency hosts deeplocal and Encyclopedia Destructica.  I imagined that April was the month to get the word out (do pre-production) and that May and June would be all field recording/production.  There was so much more I needed to do to garner public interest and participation in the project.  A major thing I’ve learned is that I’m spending 50% of my time on promotional/outreach and project “build out” tasks.

Anything else you didn’t forsee?

Yes–two things.  Firstly,”out of the blue” people who’ve heard about the project don’t seem to feel interested in or comfortable with approaching me (a stranger) to make ringtones.  That has surprised me.  Secondly, in my proposal, I didn’t even mentioned the idea of blogging.

So what do you think is up with the participation issue?

Could be that I’m not doing a good job of getting out the call for participation out to the public.  I’ll work on that in June.  It could be that folks have to see what I’m up to before they decide they want to work with me.  As far as I know, I’ve had three or four “out of the blue” people contact me about making ringtones.  One came through a posting for an Encyclopedia Destructica event, one came from a Town Talk/Radio Information Service listener, and the other two folks–I need to ask them how they heard about the project.  As a media literacy consultant and as a person with an interest in developmental psychology, I suspicion that “mirroring” the ringtone making process is important.  That’s one of the reasons I knew I had to blog.  The blog gives me a means to show and talk about the process, the people I’m meeting, the way the project gets the tones.

And the blog?  You didn’t conceptualize that component in your proposal?

No.  That came about, I’m sure, because of the work I did with artist Ines Salpico within the artist residency program at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) in February and March of this year.  I submitted my proposal to deeplocal‘s corporate residency program on Feb. 15th, and I left for ACA on the 16th.  Ines and I needed to find a way to document the manner in which we “performed text” and messages through our work at the residency, and we realized pretty quickly that a blog was the way to do it.  The day after I got back from ACA, I found out I was selected as an artist for the Old and New Media Residency program.  I knew that I had to have a means to thank those who collaborated with me and to keep them and other interested parties “posted” on what I was finding and doing and thinking about as the web infrastructure and tone distribution methods were being conceptualized in concert with deeplocal.  The blog was a no-brainer.  People can listen to the tones–and some savvy folks I know have downloaded them.  Others will have to wait (til the site and MMS system is ready, a bit later this summer, to get the tones).

How about project research?  Aside from reading America Calling, what else have you been looking into?

I wish I had more time for research–right now I’m reading Lawrence Lessig‘s fabulously enlightening (and I think important) book Remix:  Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy.  Funny cause I’m pals with Mark Hosler of Negativland, and this morning I was thinking I should ask Mark if he’ll contribute a tone to Locally Toned.  Lessig interviewed Hosler for the Remix (not surprising if you know about Negativland’s book Fair Use:  The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2).  Anyhow, I did what Lessig has to say and share about Read Only (RO) and Read Write (RW) cultures.  This is important in relation to my project and important to me as a media literacy specialist.  I’m a firm believer in encouraging more public and active participation in the making of media.  Lessig notes (as others do) that up until now, motion pictures have been for most people, RO culture.  Now that folks have access to the means and tools to make and share media content, it’s turning into RW culture.  Very interesting…  I have a good deal more to read–just started it this morning.

I also read and got a good deal out of The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging.  If you go to google and type in “locally toned,” my blog comes up first.  I learned how to make that happen there!

Okay–this is going on and on–we’d better wrap things up now.  Any last words?

Yes.  I’m excited about some of the tones that will be coming into the project in June–Emmai Alaquiva of Ya Momz House in East Liberty says he has some tones coming my way, and Kennywood has granted permission for me to go out and record audio with another project participant.  I’m beginning to work on a plan to get out and get interest in the project while riding public transport in Pittsburgh, and I’m part of a show at the Pittsburgh Technology Council‘s 15 Minutes Gallery on June 18th, and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust‘s Gallery Crawl on the weekend of July 17th.  In other news, I also had some ladies’ undies and t-shirts for men and women screen printed.  Get yer ladies’ undies!  Get yer t-shirts!

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Looking for Satellites Ringtone

This Looking for Satellites Ringtone (another one of my “test” ringtones) was created for dancer Nadia Oka by me and Ines Salpico (a.k.a. Neat Series) when we were Associate Artists at Atlantic Center for the Arts‘ residency program in February and March of 2009.  Nadia had asked us if we had time to make a sound track of some text she’d given us so that she could choreograph a dance to it.  We didn’t have time to make her a recording to dance to, so we made this Satellite ringtone for her as a gift.  It’s a great tone.  I use it as my main tone–I can hear it clear across the house.

NOAA/NASA Satellite Photo

NOAA/NASA Satellite Photo

This is a NOAA/NASA GOES Project satellite photo (medium resolution) of the Eastern USA.

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Apple-Biting Ringtone (for Benjamin Pritchard)

Apple-Biting Ringtone

Benjamin Pritchard, another Associate Artist who attended the Residency Program at Atlantinc Center for the Arts asked for an Apple-Biting Ringtone.  We had him do the apple biting and we (Neat Series) added a minamal vocal track.  It was recorded with the hi-fi equipment.

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Test Ringtone for Bob Holman (February 2009)

Holman/I’m Still Waiting Tone

Right after I submitted my proposal/application to deeplocal for their Old and New Media Residency program, I made this ringtone in Febrary of 2009, while on an airplane on my way to Atlantic Center for the Arts for their Associate Artist Residency Program.  I made it for the Master Artist I going to work with–poet Bob Holman.  I took an excerpt excerpt from Holman’s radio poem, “She Never Called Me Back.”  It’s a near perfectly ironic ringtone–Bob really liked it, but we had great difficulty getting it on his Blackberry due to memory issues (his phone was chock full of info and files).

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