☎️ 2017



☎️ ​is​ ​part​ ​of​ ​a​ ​continuing​ ​exploration​ ​into​ ​human​ ​expectations​ ​concerning​ ​the​ ​robotics​ ​we surround​ ​ourselves​ ​with.

The​ ​ringing​ ​phone​ ​evokes​ ​an​ ​“involuntary​ ​response​ ​…​ characterised​ ​by​ ​a​ ​brief​ ​distraction from​ ​ongoing​ ​activity” .​ ​This​ ​involuntary​ ​response​ ​is​ ​formed​ ​both​ ​by​ ​the​ ​phone’s​ ​aural 1 design,​ ​and​ ​our​ ​social​ ​expectations​ ​in​ ​interacting​ ​with​ ​the​ ​device.​ ​As​ ​Keifer​ ​Sutherland states​ ​in​ ​2002’s​ ​Phone​ ​Booth:​ ​“a​ ​ringing​ ​phone​ ​has​ ​to​ ​be​ ​answered,​ ​doesn’t​ ​it?”.

If​ ​humans​ ​are​ ​socially​ ​expected​ ​-​ ​or​ ​even​ ​compelled​ ​-​ ​to​ ​answer​ ​a​ ​ringing​ ​telephone,​ ​then there​ ​is​ ​equally​ ​an​ ​expected​ ​role​ ​of​ ​the​ ​telephone​ ​itself:​ ​to​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​be​ ​answered.
☎️​​ ​usurps​ ​this​ ​paradigm​ ​by​ ​sensing​ ​the​ ​approach​ ​of​ ​humans​ ​looking​ ​to​ ​interact​ ​with​ ​it,​ ​and moving​ ​away.​ ​Every​ ​time​ ​a​ ​user​ ​moves​ ​closer​ ​to​ ​the​ ​ringing​ ​phone,​ ​compelled​ ​by​ ​our well-developed​ ​interaction​ ​heuristic,​ ​​☎️​​ denies​ ​them​ ​the​ ​ability​ ​to​ ​complete​ ​their​ ​side​ ​of​ ​the interactive​ ​bargain.

Beyond​ ​this,​ ​​☎️​ ​will​ ​continue​ ​ringing​ ​and​ ​evading​ ​continuously​ ​-​ ​there​ ​is​ ​no​ ​way​ ​to​ ​enact​ ​the second​ ​of​ ​the​ ​binary​ ​phone​ ​interactions:​ ​wait​ ​for​ ​it​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​ringing.​ ​If​ ​a​ ​visitor​ ​inhabits​ ​the same​ ​space​ ​as​ ☎️,​ ​they​ ​are​ ​forced​ ​outside​ ​of​ ​their​ ​expected​ ​definition​ ​of​ ​their​ ​relationship, and​ ​into​ ​the​ ​phone’s.

That​ ​said,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​still​ ​possible​ ​to​ ​catch​ ​and​ ​answer​ ​the​ ​phone​ ​by​ ​lifting​ ​the​ ​receiver.​ ​When​ ​this happens,​ ​another​ ​atypical​ response ​is​ ​triggered:​ ​instead​ ​of​ ​hearing​ ​something​ ​through​ ​the​ ​handset, the​ ​phone’s​ ​buttons​ ​begin​ ​to​ ​vibrate​ ​and​ ​shift,​ ​ideally​ ​causing​ ​the​ ​visitor​ ​to​ ​personify​ ​a feeling​ ​of​ ​fear​ ​into​ ​the​ ​device.