Call the Playa phone booth: 213-634-1441

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Call the Playa phone booth: 213-634-1441

Postby bradtem » Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:02 pm

You're walking along the Playa, and there, exactly where it makes no sense for it to be, as a standard looking phone kiosk. No, you can't talk to God, but if you pick it up, you get dial tone, and if you dial it connects you with anybody in the world.
Image

We hope you enjoy the booth, which will start its life at 4:44 and Mercury but will move a couple of times. However, it also has a phone number 213 634 1441 (during the event only, please,) which outsiders can call and it will ring. Whether anybody will be there to answer depends on who is walking by. Whether they will do what your want or take a message depends on them. They might take it to the Black Rock Post office for you for a suitable non-monetary bribe.

Here's a page about using the booth and a page about how it was built

After the event the pages will be updated with photos of the coolest-costumed people using the phone.

Please don't call the booth before Monday. During the event if the phone is in use expect voice mail. People may or may not check it, but only leave it if you have a real message you need to get to somebody.

Please also enjoy our other installations: The giant panoramic photo wall, the map of the Vault of Heaven, the Free Speech Zone, the Blog Wall and the Save-the-Man Protest.
.
See you out on the Playa. Phone your mother. She thinks you don't call enough.
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Postby playadoc » Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:51 pm

Cool - STRONG work!

-Doc.
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Postby PurpleKoosh » Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:56 pm

Mr. Templeton, you continue to simultaneously impress and frighten me. ;-)
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Postby madmatt » Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:31 pm

Wow, way to use them skills.
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Postby madmatt » Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:31 pm

Wow, way to use them skills.
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Postby Cindy from Canada » Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:43 pm

You Guys ROCK!!!!!

I promised my husband and five year old boy that I would phone home sometime during the Burn and I fully expected to take the bus into town
one day to do so. You guys have saved me the $ and the trip.

Thankyou for such a great gift!!!!!

See you on the playa!

Cindy
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Postby Burp! » Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:12 pm

<img src="http://www.springett.net/tsgallery/bm/phonehome.jpg">
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Postby Burp! » Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:13 pm

Image
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Postby bradtem » Thu Aug 26, 2004 10:07 pm

While that's a photoshopped picture (I think that's the man from '99 in the background?) that's similar to what our booth looks like. Actually, we got a black pedestal like that but had it painted playa coloured, which actually looks ugly but will not fry the electronics as much in the sun.
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Postby Burp! » Thu Aug 26, 2004 10:47 pm

Just thought I paint a picture for you.

NF
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Postby jlpc4004 » Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:33 am

THANKS!!!!
A collect call to home from Gerlach can cost around $40 for 5 minutes...I called home one year and my mother in law freaked when she got her phone bill (I paid her back).
Can't wait to see the line for using the phone... I'm sure it'll be a great "meeting new people spot"
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Postby jbelson » Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:08 pm

Wow. I love this. Although I do feel a little conflicted. I will use it to tell my parents and girlfriend where I am camped at. But at the same time it's the connection to the real world and being able to "Check in" that seems to contradict some of the aspects of the event.
I aint hating or nothing, I know some people do need it, me being one of them. It's the whole connection thing that seems strange.
Awesome though. I think it's great ingenuity, which is what I love about Burning man so much. All the wonderful ideas that arise.

I'm gonna say that burning man is the creative epicenter of the world for that 1 week. Yep, I called it.
"I gotta have more cowbell"
Bruce dickenson, legendary rock producer
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How connected

Postby bradtem » Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:22 pm

Actually, even I share that question. In part the art it this is how "that makes no sense to be there" the phone booth is. Of course the event has had connectivity for about 5 years now, for E-mail, and as noted in the web pages, we had phones in The Embassy last year. The Gate is pulling in a T-1 connection to do credit card verification.

You're not going to be very reachable. For an outsider to call you, they would have to call, hope somebody picks up, and hope the somebody can find you. A tall order, I often don't find my friends who have told me where they are camped. If you want the BRC Post Office to deliver you will have to jump through their hoops.

When the internet connection first arrived, some opposed it. One group set up an independent wireless network in parallel, deliberatley not connected to the outside world. 99% of people used the outside net, few used the inside net.

It is an interesting problem. I don't want to see people walking around BRC carrying cordless phones, nor do I want people to feel a compulsion to check in at home because the booth is there. (Besides, the internet connection sometimes gets flaky and the phone will go with it.) On the other hand, Burning Man is also about doing what's incongruous, and hard, and unexpected.

And yes, I will be walking around with a tiny phone that looks like a cell phone but will also be linked to the world. I don't intend to use it for more than a few minutes to the outside world -- but I don't use my real cell phone much in the outside world either, I don't want to be that reachable. Again, it's for the bizarreness of it. I don't think people will find the tiny phone remarkable -- it looks like a cell phone and so there is nothing surprising about it to the mind. The phone booth stuck in the desert connected to nothing is what's incongruous.

Of course, there has always been a phone -- in Empire -- with quite a barrier of need to get to it. We'll see where the trend goes.
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art

Postby swampdog » Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:33 pm

actually, I think the real art of it would be incoming calls. I've sent the phone number to friends to try to call into to get a surreal slice of the burn remotely. I expect that it will be mobbed with people calling out, but I love the idea of my friend in Australia calling in and talking to whatever random person picks up.
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Postby JezebelinHell » Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:38 pm

Sweet! I don't have to bus it to Gerlach to tell my friends where my camp is. You guys rule!!!
"The future is a whore, she promises herself to everyone."
--Poe
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*sigh*

Postby redstar » Fri Aug 27, 2004 10:03 pm

Since I can't make it this year (all the way from the underside of the world), I might call in a few times, just to see how everything is :)
"Be the change that you want to see in the world." -Ghandi
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Postby angelgabe » Mon Aug 30, 2004 3:41 am

what is ironic is that I think ive seen a no-working phonebooth on the playa some years in the past.nice to see art and functionality.Do you mind if people "decorate" it?
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Re: *sigh*

Postby --Ever-- » Mon Aug 30, 2004 10:18 am

redstar wrote:Since I can't make it this year (all the way from the underside of the world), I might call in a few times, just to see how everything is :)


I'm with you on that one. I think I'll try a few times and report the crazy convos here :D

-T
Our truest life is in our dreams awake.
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Postby Guest » Mon Aug 30, 2004 4:17 pm

So far, all I get is voicemail.

: (
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voicemail

Postby redstar » Mon Aug 30, 2004 5:07 pm

It's only Monday afternoon/early evening - I say try tomorrow, they're probably still setting up and having those first few crazy hours on the playa :)
"Be the change that you want to see in the world." -Ghandi
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getting there

Postby bradtem » Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:05 am

The wireless network is up and down today. We have had a few calls but not put the phone out on the street. Sometimes the mundane world person doesn't hear us too well, we usually hear you fine.

When the bugs are worked out -- hey this is burning man -- I'll post again.
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cool

Postby lawcat420 » Tue Aug 31, 2004 3:22 am

Skyler wrote:So far, all I get is voicemail.

: (


Yeah, tried a few times, voicemail too. tomorrow watch out, lol- will be a good time. will try again. cool idea-thanks 8)
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only voicemail here- hope the thing is working

Postby Peace_Tolero » Tue Aug 31, 2004 12:58 pm

I called just to see who would pick up and maybe get a brief hello over to the Phlorida Phambly at the G.L.O.M. - 5:00 and Esplanade that I was thinking of you'all and that maybe with Hurricane Francis heading this way - ETA Saturday, it might have been a blessing that I stayed behind if it's necessary to put shutters up and all the preparation for the Hurricane. I never would have buttoned up the house for the week if I had gone. Looks like Saint Lucie, FL is the target but it's still a few days away.

Peace, Y'all
from the Peace_Tolero in Fort Liquordale
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Got through...barely

Postby lazerdave » Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:16 pm

Just called and got an answer on the second ring.

The bits I could pick out from the digital gloop were that I had gotten a hold of a gal named Elizabeth.

I id'ed myself as LazerDave from Denver, and could only hear sporadic sounds of her repeating my name, then lots of digital noise, the word "horrendous" and then was disconnected.

Called back, got voicemail and left a message. Hoping the Magic happens and Nani in Kostume Kult gets it.

Anyone else had other experiences?

DazerLave

P.S. Elizabeth, if/when you read this in the future, drop me a line. It was nice trying to sift through digital dust soup at ya.
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Phone now working better

Postby bradtem » Thu Sep 02, 2004 3:54 am

I've put it on the Esplanade for a while, at 4:44, next to my phone wall, and people are having a great time. Some are calling in, too.

Yes, sometimes voice quality will get poor when the internet at burning man has problems or is saturated, particularly the quality from the playa to you. However, we on the playa can generally hear you fine.

I don't know if much will be done with the voice mails, though. Getting all things working (an doing 5 other projects) has been work enough.

The internet connection is currently getting more reliable but still goes down. Also, now people are using the phone which will get you a voice mail.

It's been fun watching people react. They don't believe it works. One woman called her mother, it being 4AM in New York where she was. When her mother answered she went "Whaaaaa" and hung up right away.
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Postby sunshinecity » Thu Sep 02, 2004 9:56 am

I am debating wether to call my BF and leave avoicemail. Do you think anyone will deliver it to him? What are the chances of being able to have that message reach him?
I am in Italy right now and am having a hrd time not being able to talk to him for 10 long days!

Do you think it's possible to arrange a "phone date"?
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Postby bradtem » Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:14 pm

Things have gone slow enough that I doubt we will get around to the
voice mail. Just have him call you, that's the best way to arrange the
date.

The phone seems to work best at night and early morning when people are using the internet less. During the day we see voice getting garbled.
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Postby sunshinecity » Thu Sep 02, 2004 5:54 pm

yeah but how can i let him know that he can call me, maybe he doesnt know about it. I am having doubts that anyone will give him my message to call me :(
what do you suggest?
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message

Postby redstar » Thu Sep 02, 2004 6:07 pm

Sunshine, there are 30 000+ people on the playa - the chances of anyone even finding him to give a message are remote. You could try leaving a message on playainfo for him, but there is no guarantee he'll see it.

http://www.playainfo.org/dir2004/

I suggest relax - he'll be back in touch in a couple of days, and have lots of amazing stories to tell.
"Be the change that you want to see in the world." -Ghandi
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Postby sunshinecity » Thu Sep 02, 2004 6:49 pm

TY so much for the link to teh playa msg directory!!
I have found posts by him and at least i know he's having fun and got there ok! lol
I just miss him!!

ty for teh help!
Rock on ppl! :wink:
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