Miss Information and her Telekommunisten
For Miss Information, call
Communications technologies are often described in terms of signal and noise, in other words parts of the message are either sent or not sent, received or not received. Yet communication is not composed of discrete message chunks, but rather a multitude of interdependent signifiers each of which modifies the meaning of the each of the others.
Communication on a natural scale, in physical proximity, by natural means, voice, body, smell, site, touch, delivers these signifier in a dense, interactive flow. Communication technologies abstract that flow, and with every signifier lost, not only are parts of the message lost, but other parts, whose meaning is influenced by the missing signals, is transformed, it’s meaning not lost, but rather changed, corrupted, miscommunicated.
The more technical and abstract our communication channels become, the more mis-communicative they become.
Miscommunication is neither signal nor noise, not the original message, nor a lost message, but, in fact, a new message, unintended by the original communicator, but none the less perceived by the recipient.
“For Miss Information Call” examines the message arising from misscommunication, capturing samples of miscommunication for analysis and exhibit with a playful and interactive city-scale experiment.
The character of “Miss Information” is a double entendre, being a homophone of “misinformation” it reveals a little of it’s game up front, counting on curiosity or perhaps simply a lack of attention to prevent disbelief.
“Miss Information” presents herself as an Information Service, affixing stickers out of context to other media, posters, signs, walls, anywhere where information may be sought, creating the impression in callers that if they call her, she will inform them about the item of their interest.
These stickers present a telephone number and an invitation to call “for Miss Information.”
Instead, the callers are welcomed into our experiment in miscommunication, the first callers are played a recording from Miss Information she tells them a simple message, including such details as the name, location and dates of the Hack.Fem.East exhibition, they are also asked to pass on this information should anybody ask them.
After that, when the next callers call Miss Information, they are connected directly to the last callers, and then are called themselves when the following callers call, and so on. The information, naturally, being transformed as it passes from person to person.
In the exhibition the recordings of these calls will be played, in a cycle, starting with the original message from Miss Information, and continuing exhibiting the message throughout the various transformations. What it becomes at the end, being unknown at the beginning, but constructed by a network of accidental communicators engaging in unintended collaborative miscommunication.