NCV//art and Keller Digital team up to bring a multi-media, experiential, site-specific installation to LA’s largest independent music & arts festival – ‘Broke LA’
The project resulted in the formation of [SQUID.EMOJI], which the collaborative duo is currently known as.
‘pLAyphone’ features a repurposed pay phone from the streets of LA, retrofitted with a custom build circuit board, and set within a microcosmic vignette of fine art, sculpture, and set decoration. A motion sensor within the phone triggers a ringer when an audience member passes by – and when the phone is lifted off the hook, music begins to play.
Local LA artist ‘The Soapbox Derby’ arranged and recorded a 30 minute mix of original music which investigated the confluence of sampling (as a form of appropriation) and original composition, while reflecting and progressing the narrative of the vignette. The installation, and musical accompaniment, follow the narrative of the allegorical “stoop kid” – the personification of nostalgia – as he seeks to take what is not needed from his surroundings, and make of it something more.
“When the record stores closed, they became something else.
No one came to clean up all the pay phones.
There was a tangible, visceral, "real-life” experience to finding music back in “the day.” It was actually found. In crates, in stores, in your hands.
‘pLAyphone’ is an ongoing series which seeks to reclaim the experiential act of releasing and discovering music, for the artist and the audience, by simultaneously incorporating and investigating the acts of reappropriation and recontextualization which have shaped LA’s unique visual and musical landscape.
Where most artistic forms of appropriation function to destroy the previous narrative of the object, ‘pLAyphone’ seeks to embrace, illuminate, and elaborate on the visual and cultural motifs which can be found recycled throughout the development of Los Angeles' unique, and perpetually self-redefining culture."