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 The juxtaposition of one outdated technology (Morse code) onto another was quite intriguing, inviting us to scan that QR.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

Photo: Jmeyers44
5 Arrested in Connection to the Fatal Second Avenue Explosion, Including Landlord [UPDATED]

Justice is coming. Nearly a year later, the city is finally charging those responsible in the deadly Second Avenue Explosion last March. Five people were arrested this week in connection with the blast – building owners Maria Hrynenko and her son, Michael, plumber Jerry Inonandis, and general contractor Dilber Kukic are each charged with second degree […]

onieals-seized
Onieals Pub on Grand Street Seized by the Taxman Last Night

We got a tip this morning that Onieals on Grand Street is down for the count. It would appear that the taxman paid a visit to the twenty-year-old establishment last night. The all-too-familiar orange sticker of doom was slapped onto the windows, letting everyone know that the establishment was “seized.” This closure is most likely […]

extell-building-update-2
Extell’s 80-Story Behemoth on South Street Ascends Past Plywood Threshold

​Down at the Extell waterfront site – aka One Manhattan Square – the first real sign of doom is now visible. Supports have just crossed the plywood threshold. Indeed, the pile-driving ceased and superstructure construction is no longer relegated to the depths of the pit. We now see the beginning of the end. The building currently boasts […]

190bowery-sheds
Germania Bank Building Shows off New Windows on the Bowery

​The Germania Bank Building is another leap closer to its sanitized vision. Most of the progress at 190 Bowery is hidden behind construction materials. Until this week, when half its scaffolding was carted away. It took some three months, but all the replacement window glass is now in place. Down on street level – the Spring […]

galli-ludlow
After 16 Months, Galli Restaurant on Rivington Street Wants to Cash Out

Sixteen months after debut, the Lower East Side outpost of Galli Restaurant is apparently on the rocks. Just like Rouge Wine Bar down the block. Proprietor Michael Forrest, the Board Chair of the Lower East Side Partnership (nee BID) who also happens to own 98 Rivington Street, just placed the space on the open market. Listings to […]