1. Telecom turns world on to NZ music

    Made from laser cut stainless steel, edge-lit acrylic continents, and a laminated formica sea, the Dude-a-phone is a sculptural world at your fingertips.

    The display is backlit using coloured halogen beams which pulse with a continuous rythm. The human 'connections' are activated by three touch pads at the base of the display.

    Visitors are invited to make a connection between New Zealand and any international destination of their choice. To make a successful connection, the visitor has to simultaneously touch two destinations. If, for example, one person touches New Zealand, others can join hands with that person so that they can make shared connections to multiple destinations at the same time.

    Successful connections are rewarded by beautiful and surprising sounds that are sensitive to the touch of the person(s) making the connection.

    Examples of actual interactive sounds


    Creative visitors can compose full symphonies based on choral voices, orchestral instruments, and special effects stored in two modified Korg digital sythesisers.

    Example of actual interactive composition


    Changes in tone, pitch, attack and other sound properties are controlled by programmes which both sense the touch panels, and ensure that sounds initiated by individuals blend together harmoniously - avoiding bad combinations in different pitches.

    The sound effects added to the choral and orchestral harmonies include windchimes, 'Hells Bells', bamboo flutes and Indian sitar - an interesting change from the dial tones we hear when making a normal Telecom connection.

    For the technically minded, the communication link made between touch panels is based on the ability of the human body to conduct certain electrical signals across the skin.

    Although we normally think of electrical signals travelling THROUGH a communication link, some signals (higher frequency) actually tend to travel along the outside perimeter of a conductor rather than through the main thickness. With the Doo Dah Dude-a-phone, the signals travel safely across the skin, not through the body.

    The Dude-a-phone was designed and built in New Zealand by the Studio of Arts And Sciences with a creative team including Paul Crowther (of Split Enz and Fan Club), Paul Hamlyn (Sparx Electronics) and some leading-edge work from LaserSream NZ for the laser cutting.

    Full credit should go to Telecom for providing an educational and entertaining exhibit that will be thoroughly enjoyed by kids of all ages - don't miss the TELECOM EXPRESS, coming to a station near you soon.

    A smaller version of the exhibit was later installed at the City Art Gallery (Gallery of Contemporary Art) Wellington, for the Now See Hear!: Art, Language, and Translation exhibtion

    Gallery Wellington is a dynamic cultural presence in the capital city of Aotearoa, New Zealand, showcasing contemporary art from New Zealand and around the world. It is a venue for the research, display and debate about modern and contemporary visual art.

    With ninety-five exhibits, Now See Hear! is the largest exhibition the Gallery has ever staged. Curators Gregory Burke and poet, novelist, and art critic Ian Wedde describe it as 'an adventure in communications’. Key themes include language and the role it plays in art, and the link between fine art and the commercial art and design we are bombarded with daily.

    Exhibition design is a vital component. The languages of art, advertising, comics, design, computers, logos, videos, and billboards are brought together in an intentionally cacophonic display.

    Reviewer Rob Taylor compares the show to walking through a mall or TV channel hopping. Exhibition designer Leon van den Eijkel explains, 'What I was trying to get at was my own sense of disorientation when first walking into the exhibition space — a disorientation which in retrospect was also quite liberating in the sense that, rather than dictating, it encourages initiative in viewing choice.’

    Now See Hear! is postmodernism writ large. More than 8,000 people see the show in five weeks. 'This is as many people as we normally expect in three months, new director Paula Savage tells the Eastern News. It is her first show as Director.

    More about SAAS clients and projects: >>

    Copyright © 2018 Studio of Applied Arts & Sciences.



  1. SAAS role:

    The Studio of Applied Arts And Sciences (SAAS) provided high level expertise at all stages of the project - from system analysis through to network design, engineering and rollout.

Last Updated 18th October 2023
By WebMaster