T. Foley’s, a Pittsburgh artists whose cell-phone based work, “Locally Toned,” is a public art/original ringtone creation project, has a natural tie-in to the current exhibit at Housatonic. She is capturing sounds and returning them to the public as “tiny audio documentaries that play back over cell phones,” says Foley.
At the Housatonic Museum, the artist will discuss her project and collaborate with students and the public to create original ringtones that reflect the sounds of Bridgeport and its residents. Locally Toned is part of the programming for the Housatonic Museum of Art original exhibition “It’s for you,” Conceptual Art and the Telephone, which is on view through March 25 in the Burt Chernow Galleries.
Since Foley began the project in 2009, her main focus has been on creating an audio portrait of Pittsburgh (where she lives). Because the project emphasizes shared creativity over commerce, the tones are distributed free-of-charge at www.locallytoned.org and via MMS. Unlike traditional works of public art, such as murals and outdoor sculptures, “Locally Toned” presents itself elusively, at unexpected times and in unexpected places (when users receive calls on their cell phones).
Ms. Foley will give a public talk about her project 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 22 and will hold an open recording session 3-6 p.m. Thursday, March 24. During the session people are invited to bring objects, ideas, and sound makers, then work with Ms. Foley to record their own ringtones. Both of these events are open to the public and will take place in HCC’s Lafayette Hall. A “Locally Toned” display in the gallery is already on view and features locallytoned.org and take-away ringtone art cards that have special codes allowing visitors to send Pittsburgh tones directly to their cell phones.