October 17th, 2008: Daily life with Telemegaphone Dale

For five weeks this summer people from all over the world could call up Telemegaphone Dale and project the sound of their voice across the small village of Dale in the beautiful Dalsfjord Valley in western Norway.

A few weeks after turning off the installation we went back to Dale to meet with the local villagers and authorities to learn what life with Telemegaphone Dale has been like, and discuss if and how the project could continue.

After Erik and I left Dale, early the morning after the opening ceremony, we’ve had a massive response from the rest of the world, but we have learnt very little about how life with the Telemegaphone has been like in Dale. What have they thought about the experience? What have they heard? How have they themselves used it?

Hanging out in Dale

The Dale Bakery is a major hub for social life in Dale. People go there to meet friends and family, catch up on the latest gossip, and (of course) enjoy some tasty pastries. We spent most of Saturday there, drinking coffee, eating cinnamon rolls and talking to people about their experiences with the Telemegaphone.

People in Dale are very open and forthcoming and soon we had learnt what parts of the Telemegaphone test-run that had been great and what parts that had sucked. We list a few of these reactions below.

Not before long we had also recieved and accepted invitations to (1) tag along to a story telling event in neighbouring Flekke, (2) have a beer at the local bar and (3) come see Bergen band Babe Rawlins in concert. Naturally we couldn’t resist any of this.

The morning after we led a hike up to the Telemegaphone on unsteady, and a bit hung-overy, flatland legs. A handful of locals and some of the resident artists at Nordic Artist’s Centre joined the expedition providing us with ample opportunity to probe their minds as to what they thought of the project.

Monday afternoon we met with the municipality to present the project, share the findings from our research, and discuss possible future scenarios. We were happy to learn that Fjaler municipality (to which Dale belongs) is very positive to the project. The Telemegaphone idea fits nicely with Fjaler’s vision of itself as the small place in the centre of the world and an open and welcoming community. Together we have begun looking into how to take the project further.

Reactions

A lot of people enjoyed the Telemegaphone greatly and had many funny and touching stories to tell.

Here are few quotes from Dale (in orange) and the rest of the world (in blue):

  • Can anyone in Norway confirm that this is real? Anon
  • this is a scam… it is not real… you are all idiots to believe this… smore658
  • There’s got to be more than one person in that town that wants to chop it downEthel
  • I don’t want to be woken up at 3AM when I have to go to work the morning after. Man at the bakery
  • Could you imagine living in Dalsfjord? That has to be the most annoying thing ever created. Imagine someone calling at 3 AM. Jesse
  • This is an act of brilliance… and courage. I can only imagine how the best and the worst of sounds have been blasted over this quiet little community. I hope the worst didn’t discourage the town’s appetite for more! This idea is wonderful! Dave Brown
  • Wow, this is such a great display of faith in people Eric Miyeni
  • Good idea – I like that there’s something going on around here. and this is simply genious : ) Keril
  • For me it has been great! Woman at the bakery
  • I hope the telemegaphone will run for some time after the hunting season ends, because it’s too good to only keep going for a short period of time! Christopher Woods
  • I can’t stop laughing. Dale (my hometown) has become an international community for art and culture… Unfortunately the installation is turned off and the number no longer available. Otherwise I would have sent a greeting to my grandparents who live close enough to hear the megaphone. Hihi. Eventyrskogen
  • They said Dale was a remote place – but remote from what? Elísabet Gunnarsdottir
  • I was hiking up on Bergskletten when I heard a voice from Korea saying «We will not invade you!» Man in Berge
  • The next time I’m in Norway I’m totally going to go to this place. Yet another Norwegian boy
  • Dale has become, if not only an attraction richer, a little bit cooler Vebjørn Lykkebø Samuelsen
  • I think I just left half of our instrumental group’s EP across the soundwaves of Dale at 7:45am Oslo time. If so, we’re Grun-Tu-Molani and we’d love to get a confirmation you heard it. Anyone Anon
  • Oh, that’s hilarious, haha. I’m Norwegian, and just found out where I’m going next weekend. Tobias
  • A lot of people in Dale have called to sing «Happy Birthday» to their friends and family Woman in Dale
  • One man called up the Telemegaphone to encourage his neighbours to put on their shorts on a particularily sunny day. Man in Dale
  • I had become quite interested in the telemegaphone and was looking forward to the fun of announcing the birth of a granddaughter. Gary Lindsey
  • My brother called and sang «Between Hills and Mountains». It was very beautiful Teenage boy in Flekke
  • It’s a pity that the installation wasn’t up and running for a longer time. The use of if would probably have evolved and matured over time Woman in Dale

What do you think?

What are your thoughts and experiences of Telemegaphone Dale? Tell your story in a comment to this post or join the discussion on Facebook

- Magnus

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