AWSI: Picasso’s Calling. Swipe Up to Accept…

While flipping through The Wall Street Journal the other day, we came across a headline that grabbed our attention — and triggered our collective imagination.

Eye-grabber for sure

Eye-grabber for sure

Apparently, per the article, thanks to the efforts of Sing London, a U.K.-based public art studio, 27 of Chicago’s iconic statues will speak to passersby via the mobile phone.


Yes, we knew we needed to dig deeper on this.

In essence, this seems to be a different “take” of the audio guide used for museums.

Sing London teamed up with writers and artists with Chicago roots to produce two-minute monologues for each of the featured statues.

Here’s the interesting part– These monologues can be accessed by waving a mobile phone near a plaque installed on each statue. The action triggers a phone call—complete with the statue’s photo popping up as caller ID—that will play the monologue.

Tommie is investigating how the plaque knows to call a particular phone number. What we do know is that Sing London has had some prior experience with this concept with a run in London and Manchester.

Look who's talking...

Look who’s talking…

Some of the monologues adhere closely to history, while others are more imaginative. And a few others (four to be exact) will have UGC (user generated content) as a result of a monologue creating contest open to the public.

Where statues talk...

Where Statues Talk…

Here’s an example. The Picasso at Richard J. Daley Plaza
Written by Mickle Maher and performed by Deanna Dunagan

What's your story, statue??

What’s your story, statue??

We were surprised to learn that in 1963, Richard J. Daley Center architects tried to entice Pablo Picasso to create a sculpture for the plaza in front of their proposed building. They wrote him a poem, calling Chicago ‘a place waiting for a spirit, the spirit in a sculpture,’ and ending with the question ‘will you do it?’

Apparently, the answer was “yes,” as this 50-foot tall, 162-ton sculpture was created — though it is puzzling what it is supposed to represent. Aha! What an ideal subject for a monologue.

It is easy to see how one’s imagination can be triggered well beyond Chicago with this concept. Heck, could even be applied beyond physical objects like statues if done with the right amount of discretion.

We love this idea and hope it takes off. We also love Sing London’s tagline: “Lifting the Public’s Spirit.” They most certainly are.

Stay curious my friends!

–The Gang

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