self-contained: 1997, phone terror project, Public Netbase Vienna/A


According to a statistical investigation of the year 1992 more than 50% of the phone calls at Northern American national phone lines consist of data transfers between computers. Less than 50% are carried through by human operators. A scenario emerges where machines do most of the communication inside the machine-world and only now and then humans are accepted as communication partners - or humans are rather left alone to form a communication residuum of limited relevance. [The later is Hans Moravecz's suggestion for the 2020s.]

The installation self-contained set up a system of a computer-controlled answerphone and custom-built software enabling the answerphone to ring other answerphones from a list of addressees, to record their messages and to leave a message on the other answerphone. In this way a closed-circuit of answerphones has been construed, busily exchanging messages amongst the member answerphones - without the necessary participation of any human being. The installation showed an aspect of a futuristic scenario where men and woman find themselves in a world operated by autonomous machinery. This might be a frightening or a hopeful scenario depending on the observers standpoint. »Nothing left to do!« or »Free at last, to do what we want!«