Fond du Lac Telephone

Fond du Lac Telephone, 2015
Rotary telephone, micro controller and audio shield
Edition of 5


The Fond du Lac Telephone is an interactive rotary telephone object, and a portal to another place and time — the artist’s hometown of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in the early 1970s.

The phone rings. It calls you.
The phone dials. You call Fond du Lac.

The telephone is accompanied by a small “Blue Book” — a personal list of people and places that can be called by dialing the telephone numbers listed.

There are over 50 telephone numbers and over 150 possible call experiences, ranging in duration from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. Many numbers have multiple possible call experiences, and in this way, the experience of the telephone is unexpected and unpredictable.

The sounds of the telephone include field audio recordings made by the artist in Fond du Lac, archival audio culled from various local archives, scripted and improvised audio performed by the artist and others, based on the artist’s life, memory and imagination.

Sound, like image, is a visual art. The Fond du Lac Telephone is more than a sound object; it is a photographic object as well. It is made in the artist’s image of his hometown, but in the eyes and ears of others, an “other” Fond du Lac is created, through images of their own mental making.

Fond du Lac Telephone Installation