Name that Ringtone!

Our “Name that Ringtone” contest is on its way. We did a test over at our facebook page and the response was exciting – Lots of creative people joined in and gave a handful of ringtones some really creative names.

While the social media test was recent, this  project actually started in 2007 right before I left to attend grad school at the San Francisco Art Institute. This is when these first batches of ringtones were made. The problem then was that cell phone technology wasn’t so great, and companies like Verizon were even disabling features on Motorola phones that would allow the easy addition of custom ringtones. I also ran into problems getting a Motorola phone to work with my Mac computer. So, in summary there were a lot of conflicts and challenges back then.

Well, I don’t have to tell you how things have changed now that the iPhone is universally adored.  It is now much easier to get custom ringtones onto a phone.

The way the “Name that Ringtone” contests works is that all who suggest a name + like Studio Ju Ju on facebook get entered to win a pair of Reveal Bamboo Bambud earbuds, and those who suggest the winning name for a particular ringtone, get a copy of that ringtone for their phone.

Here’s the ringtone currently up for naming. Take a break from the holidays and put your creativity to work. Name that ringtone!

Series 1 12 edit by Sesamedia + Studio Ju Ju

In case you can’t view the iframe above, click here.

Museum of Non-Visible Art (MONA)

The Non-Visible Museum is an extravaganza of imagination, a museum that reminds us that we live in two worlds: the physical world of sight and the non-visible world of thought. Composed entirely of ideas, the Non-Visible Museum redefines the concept of what is real. Although the artworks themselves are not visible, the descriptions open our eyes to a parallel world built of images and words. This world is not visible, but it is real, perhaps more real, in many ways, than the world of matter, and it is also for sale.

I like the idea of MONA but I do hope that they expand their idea of what is non-visible art to include sound, smell and touch. If they just stick to narrative, that will be boring! If they just keep it at ideas, how will this be anything new that builds on the history of conceptual art? Anyhow, the project is new so no need to pass judgment this early in its creation. They are currently raising funds and inviting interested people to join a mailing list.

In 2009, with the artist Sandhya Khumar, I created an artwork made from a sound recording of an iconic SF Bay two-tone foghorn – one that hasn’t played for over 25 years. Little has been done to preserve foghorn sounds yet they’ve had huge impact on the sound aesthetic of San Francisco and other cities for 100 years. The reason I bring this up is that the formation of MONA reminds me of this sound recording and how we were able to auction it off for nearly $300 at a live auction in 2009, part of the Radical Practices Live Auction Series in San Francisco.

Immaterial Terrain

Photo credit: yourban.no

Designers at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design have created a method to materialize and document the “immaterial terrain” of WiFi networks within a city. In this project they created a way to measure WiFi presence using a light stick. Then using that light stick they mapped WiFi across the campus landscape while documenting the light variations through long-exposure photography. They created what I would call a kind of “light map” to create a presence for what is usually an invisible – yet crucial – network and a significant – yet intangible – terrain in contemporary life.

The project’s interest in the spatial and material qualities of wireless networks is what makes it interesting to the projects of Studio Ju Ju where we have a similar interest in exploring the spatial and material qualities of sound and sound travel.

More about: Immaterials: Light painting WiFi