The Urban Speaker created by Carlos J. G%uFFFDmez de Llarena will be a part of the Conflux Festival this weekend in NYC.

If you’re in NYC this weekend, check out the Conflux Festival at NYU’s Barney Building and various art installations in and around the East Village on October 8-10. The Conflux Festival, now in its 7th year, creates a unique opportunity for interactive artists to present their ideas, especially as they are used to interpret the usage of public space. In many ways, it%uFFFDs like a festival of culture jamming, art, technology, and sound–which inspires on a broader level.

The founders started the Conflux Festival around the concept of “psycho geography” or the study of one’s environment on behavior. It is connected to the notion of exploring and playing with public space, especially urban spaces, and how the space creates feelings and artistic expressions. Conflux Festival includes a variety of interesting “structured walks” and various presentations of artists, including sound artists in terms of how they use such space to influence their work.

One such installation, created by Carlos J. Gomez de Llarena, a media architect, who’s showcased at Ars Electronica, where he won the Golden Nica for Net Vision, Eyebeam, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Caracas, ZKM and ResFest, is the Urban Speaker.

According to Carlos, the Urban Speaker is an art installation that transforms public space into an instant stage for mass communication. This portable urban furniture allows people to broadcast their voice in public by calling a telephone number from their mobile phones.

The Urban Speaker resembles construction signage and blends in with its urban surroundings. It consists of a tripod with an amplified loudspeaker, smartphone, battery and a traffic sign. The signage instructs passersby to dial a phone number to speak in public. Users who place the call get an automatic answer and can speak their mind for sixty seconds after which the call is terminated. A QR code on the sign allows some mobile phones to instantly access the urbanspeaker.mobi website for location, event and other details as well as quick dialing of the installation%uFFFDs phone.

The project explores the possibilities of urban media spaces created by the introduction of telecommunication and interactive technologies into our built environments. Temporary interventions such as this seek to re-imagine what our personal and social experience of public spaces can be in an age of ubiquitous nonstop communication.

Urban Speaker can be viewed on Friday October 8th from 3pm-7pm in Tompkins Square Park, on the 7th St side between Avenues A & B.

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