The World Talks about Telemegaphone Dale

The World Talks about Telemegaphone Dale


The interest in Telemegaphone Dale has been simply overwhelming.

The Early Birds Get the News

The Norwegian local papers were first to report and caught Unsworn Telecom already when we were assembling the Telemegaphone in the NKD workshop. Less local Norwegian and Swedish papers as well as Internet editions of various publications from around the worldsoon followed suit.

Blogs drum up attention

Old media aside, it was the mighty drums of the blogosphere that brought the Telemegaphone to the world’s attention. John Thackara (the design guru’s design guru according to design guru Bruce Sterling was one of the first to pound out the news, calling Telemegaphone Dale “a sublime piece of communications landscape art, or something along those lines”. Soon, a thousand other blogs picked up the thread. Many posts have spurred vivid discussions, the most common themes being:

  • “This is great!”
  • “This is horrible! Why haven’t the people of Dale chopped it down?”
  • “This is not real - you’re just playing us.”
  • “I just called and…”
  • “I’m gonna call and…”

This post over at the affable Oddstrument Collection sports 184(!) comments at the time of writing, covering just about all of the above themes. Although we enjoyed the conspiratory qualities of the real/not-real debate we decided to put up an FAQ-page to provide at least some straight answers.

International Radio

Radio people seem to love the Telemegaphone. Is it because they are sound-nerds or because they sympathise with our take on the classic one-to-many communication? The last couple of weeks we have been interviewed by enthusiastic broadcasters from Canada, Norway, South Africa, USA, Great Britain, and New Zeeland.

The Telemegaphone was also featured in a photo-captioning-contest over at CBC where people were asked to write a caption to a telescoped photo of the Telemegaphone. Our favourite: “Oh dear! Yeti dropped his Personal Listening Device”.

Memorable radio moments include the BBC World having to publicly apologise — live both on air and Telemegaphone — to the whole village after calling Dale “a small, sleepy town” during an interview with curator Elísabet Gunnarsdóttir:

Norwegian radio added jaunty musical illustrations to their Telemegaphone interview with Magnus and Elísabet:

Erik enjoyed a long, pleasant conversation with Peter Anthony Holder of CJAD’s Holder Tonight talkshow:

CBC Spark is a highly recommended show on the intersections of culture and technology. Here’s their special show on phones - Telemegaphone action starts at 15:30.

Finally, Eric Miyeni from SAfm in South Africa warmed our hearts when he, after an interview with Magnus, exclaimed: “Wow, this is such a great display of faith in people! This is why I love the project.”

More Media

Did we mention the French science magazine for kids? The talk by the Norwegian secretary of state? The concert by Chicago-based band Grun-Tu-Molani? The Swedish dance clubs? The many creative and hilarious uses of the Telemegaphone deserve their own post. Soon.

What’s Missing?

Voices from Dale, of course! The BBC interview (above) features some words from Torkil, a Dale local, but otherwise it’s mostly the rest of the world speaking. That’s why Unsworn Telecom will head back to Dale in a few weeks to talk to people there about life with the Telemegaphone. There are many more telemegaphonic stories waiting to be told.

What Can You Report?

Do you have any interesting stories to share?