What would you say, given one free minute of anonymous public speech? One Free Minute is a mobile sculpture designed to allow for instances of anonymous public speech.
The principal intent of One Free Minute is to investigate how communication in public space has been, and can be, altered by technology. Whereas cellular phone technology has increasingly created mobile private spaces in the public realm, metering human interaction in billed by the minute increments, One Free Minute seeks to return the public soundscape to the voices of its callers.
One Free Minute can be performed in both live and site-specific versions.
Calls made to the sculpture's cellular phone are amplified live through a two-hundred watt speaker system. Callers get a maximum of one minute of anonymous speech time, which is broadcast from the horn over a radius of about up to two hundred feet. Calls to the piece are electornically timed by the internal controller, but are not otherwise censored. Callers revceive the live number in advance by email, or on the street through a simple printed business card. In the absence of live calls, the sculture's internal controller randomly plays back speeches from the internal MP3 speech archive.
Recognizing that transformative speech is strongest when it references the community it exists within, One Free Minute can also be used to amplify the voice of a particular community. To do this, a call-in number is publicized within the community, and calls are collected over a month or two prior to the performance time. Additional calls are solicited during performances through a printed business card containing call-in information. These collected calls are then played back during the performance randomly by the sculpture's internal controller. Examples of this instantiation include San Jose Voices (San Jose), Une Minute Gratuite (Quebec) and Berliner Stimmen (Berlin).
Calls to One Free Minute are held in the strictest anonymous confidence. In an era when governments and public agencies 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 that, for example, ordinary citizens and activists alike can speak openly and without fear of recrimination.
• One Free Minute: Unscheduled performaces with live callers in Columbus, Ohio, May-August 2005
• Une Minute Gratuite: Collected calls (primarily in French) from the community of Saint Roch, Quebec City. Calls performed at closing time in front of the main library, La Bibliotheque Gabrielle-Roy, June 10-17 2006
• One Free Minute: Performances at the World Urban Festival, Vancouver BC, June 21-26th 2006.
• San Jose Voices: calls collected from the 408 area code are played in public spaces throughout the ISEA 2006/ ZeroOne festival, San Jose California: August 7-13th, 2006.
• Berliner-Stimmen: Collected calls (primarily in German) from a Berlin toll-free number are played in public spaces throughout the Mitte and Wedding districts of Berlin. Part of the exhibition Urban Interface, April 14-May 3, 2007.
• One Free Minute/ Une Minute Gratuite: performances during the La Biennale de Montréal 2009.
One Free Minute: Reviews and Articles
• Wired News: Artist Cranks up No-name Rants, by Rachel Metz. link
• Rhizome Net Art News: Have You Got Something to Say? by Helen Varley-Jamieson. pdf
• Net Art Review: Speakers Corner Revisited, or Sound and Free Speech in the City by Ana Boa-Ventura. link
• ABC Perth, Australia: Got a Minute? Transcript of radio interview with Glenn Mitchell. link
• Polit.ru Moscow: news article on One Free Minute ... link
• Art Center Nabi, Seoul Korea: News on New Media Art. pdf
• Popular Mechanics South Africa: Speak your Mind by Bruce Stewart.
• WMMNA on Berliner Stimmen and Urban Interface. link
• Memefest International Festival of Radical Communication, Ljubljana Slovenia: first place in "Beyond" Category.
• Laberintos.org's New Geographies project.