One Free Minute

One Free Minute began with a simple question: what would happen if the remote speech made possible by a cellphone were connected to public space? Since then it has branched out to be an examination of public speech, an exploration of how cellular technology affects human communication in both negative and positive ways, a hand-made fibreglass sculpture, a web site, a bunch of phone lines, a whole lot of server bandwidth, an archive with close to a thousand speeches and, well... you get the idea.

The principal intent behind One Free Minute was to investigate how public discourse has been changed by technology. Cellular phones have brought private space into the public realm, metering human interaction in billed-by-the-minute increments. One Free Minute inverts this aspect of cellular technology, using it instead to break the soundscape of public space with unpredictable acts of improvised, anonymous public speech. Instead of allowing corporate structures to specify how we communicate in public space, One Free Minute allows individual callers to control the public soundscape for a single minute.

Another intent of One Free Minute was to create a tool to facilitate anonymous free speech in public places. Governments everywhere are increasingly vigilant of who is saying what and where: One Free Minute puts a bit of a blur on the 'who' and 'where', meaning, for example, that activists can speak without fear of recrimination when and if necessary.

One Free Minute is also about making art that transcends the narrow confines of art purely destined for the gallery environment. One Free Minute tries instead to take art to the street, turning passive viewers into active participants, allowing them to control the script of the work as much as is possible.