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 The juxtaposition of one outdated technology (Morse code) onto another was quite intriguing, inviting us to scan that QR.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

The Derby replaces Tiny Fork on Orchard St.
Three Problematic Hell Square Bars Hope to Upgrade to Full Liquor Licenses

Three Hell Square bars – two of which are newcomers – are headed straight to the State Liquor Authority for blessings regarding OP upgrades and alterations. Each of the establishments received denials from Community Board 3 within the last few months. Below is a quick and dirty update. The Derby Controversial owner (and hated neighbor) […]

bowery-mission-2014
With Pantry Depleted, Bowery Mission to Receive Funding From City

The Bowery Mission is set to receive some much needed government dollars to help stock their rapidly depleting pantry for local Lower East Side homeless. The Food Pantries Initiative has $237,600 earmarked in the city’s 2015 Fiscal Year budget, spread between ten delegates, which leaves Councilwoman Margaret Chin with $23,760 to work with. Of that, she plans to allocate $9,000 to the […]

billys-closing
Billy’s Antiques is Returning to the Lower East Side for One Day This Weekend

This Saturday (October 25), Billy LeRoy is reviving his antiques business for one day only. He’ll head down to Seward Park to pitch the big-top tent as part of the Hester Street Fair’s “Bedford + Bowery Bazaar,” the last event of the season. Billy Leroy’s eponymous antiques business on East Houston was a fixture of […]

tijuana-picnic-outside
Tijuana Picnic Opens Next Week on Essex Street; Here’s a Look Inside

While not readily apparent, the old Laugh Lounge space at 151 Essex Street is almost completely transformed. Behind those bombed-out windows the tables are set, with Tijuana Picnic nearly ready to begin service. Word on the street is that the Mexican/Asian fusion establishment – under construction since May 2013 – opens next week. Tijuana Picnic […]

comfort-diner-neon
Comfort Diner is Opening on Grand Street Later This Week

It was around this time last year – the Jewish high holidays – that Noah’s Ark kosher deli closed in observance. Never to reopen, despite some assurances to the contrary. Holy Schnitzel subsequently made a run for the establishment yet ultimately was passed over for the Comfort Diner. For the Midtown-based diner, the pin in […]