Those Morse Code Flyers Pasted in Neighborhood Phonebooths

Posted on: April 4th, 2013 at 6:30 am by

phonebooth-morse

Aside from Hurricane Sandy, payphones really haven’t seen much action in well over a decade. While still a necessity, the city treats these communication pods as money-makers for ad campaigns; the New Museum treats them as an art exhibit transporting people back to 1993 (“Recalling 1993″); and Rosa Eaton treats them as soapbox for a public statement.

This Orchard Street phone, between Delancey and Rivington, was one of the few in the vicinity that worked during Sandy. So it still commands our attention. In passing the other day, we noticed a computer printout taped above the handset. The juxtaposition of one outdated technology (Morse code) onto another was quite intriguing, inviting us to scan that QR.

The link brings us to the page of artist Rosa Eaton. She explains the “What is Your Location?” flyers in a blog post:

This is Q Code; a Morse Code short hand made up of three letters, which originated in 1909 for the use of the Coast Guard. I found this text when researching Morse and see it as a distillation of all human interaction – trying to work out where others are in relation to ourselves. By placing this text piece in some of the 11,000, mostly unused, telephone booths in New York I seek to draw attention to the basic human need for connectedness and communication.

The text reads as follows:

I acknowledge receipt
Do you acknowledge receipt?
Wait
Should I Wait?
I am ready to receive
Are you ready to copy?
The frequency is in use
Is the frequency in use?
My location is
What is your location?

Recent Stories

47clinton-sold
Icon Realty Snaps Up 47 Clinton Street for $5M

Two weeks ago, Icon Realty Management made headlines after selling its massive holding at 50-62 Clinton Street for a record-setting $28 million. The transaction now paves the way for a new seven-story residential development. Yet while the real estate investment firm was busy closing the deal, it quietly made a purchase just across the pavement. […]

Photo: Boing Boing
First Two Volumes of Ed Piskor’s ‘Hip Hop Family Tree’ Now for Sale as Box Set

For the music heads out there who don’t already know, you absolutely must check out Ed Piskor’s fantastic “Hip Hop Family Tree” comic series. The weekly cartoons – exclusively published on Boing Boing – illustrate the birth of the art form in an easily consumable manner. If you haven’t been following, no biggie. There is […]

gaia-east-houston
Gaia Italian Cafe is Taking a Week-Long Break Starting Next Thursday

Fair warning that Gaia Italian Cafe is taking a brief recess on September 25. Eponymous owner Gaia Bagnasacco took to the company Facebook page to note that the beloved three-year-old restaurant will reopen a week later on October 2, and to thank patrons for the support. Gaia is certainly a neighborhood treasure, and fiercely protected […]

bowery-delancey-intersection-1
The DOT Not Seeing the Light with Traffic Signals at Bowery and Delancey

The city spent loads of taxpayer dollars the last few years trying to remedy the traffic situation at the intersection of Bowery and Delancey/Kenmare. Road crews keep digging up pavement, repainting the lanes, and beautifying the medians. To no avail. The bigger issue continually shrugged aside is fixing the sequence timing of the signals here. […]

preserve24-eviction
Serge Hoyda Successful in Evicting Preserve 24; Per Se Vet Dropped from Lawsuit

Last Friday, epic failure Preserve 24 (aka Aegis Holding Houston LLC) was officially evicted from 177 East Houston by court order. It has been closed and dormant since late June, and will not reopen under new management as one sign proclaims. The papers served by landlord Serge Hoyda are now taped to the front door. […]