Once the privilege of your local crazy, talking to bins is about to be the next big thing in Bristol, with the help of a new public art installation called Hello Lamp Post!
Now admittedly, I found the prospect of having a chat with a lamp post a little bit mental, as if the town needs another mad lady talking to inanimate objects (velour tracksuit woman, I’m talking about you) , but the idea behind the project is nothing short of amazing, a city transformed into a treasure map, one that we can fill with our own adventures. That post-box you pass each day, that ubiquitous and invisible part of your day to day routine, could hold a treasure trove of information on your city. It’s Bristol’s very own Home Tree, with hundreds of connections in your immediate environment, and the people that inhabit it everyday. From bins to bus stops you’ll have a constant affinity to the city, albeit a quirky one at that.
To top if off, it’s a very simple process, all you have to do is text the object. “Hello + the name of the object + its code + your question” is all you need in order to get a response; the aim is to encourage you to reply to these objects, expanding their and your knowledge and bettering it for everyday use, the more you use them, then the more you get out of them.
A creation of PAN, a London based design and research studio, Gyorgyi Galik and Tom Armitage, this mad yet brilliant connection project was the winner of Bristol’s Playable City Award; the final installation of which will be completed and in Bristol this summer, before being whisked away on an international tour. An online platform with a temporary installation in the city will also allow non-Bristolians to interact too, through visual messages and artwork, a great way for technology savvy tourists to find some of Bristol’s best kept secrets.
The judging panel for the Playable City Award, comprised of Imogen Heap, Claire Doherty (Situations) and Google’s Tom Uglow, supported PAN with the £30,000 prize, were extremely supportive and impressed with the project, with Tom Uglow claiming “It filled me with a childish delight” and Heap saying it “humanised our cities appendages whose eyes and ears now have a voice”
The installation will be completed over the coming months, and will be live in Bristol throughout July and August 2013.