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2005 04 01
If These Walls Could Talk
imageAlert pedestrians may have of late noticed the appearance of ear-shaped, metallic green signs at various points around the city, tacked up to lampposts, walls and billboards. On the sign is a phone number and a location code: dial in and enter the code and you’ll be treated to a prerecorded story about the place that you’re standing. For once, navigating a voicemail system is actually pleasurable, as formerly non-descript places come alive with the words of someone who has a connection with that place or a story to tell about it.

The artists behind this cool piece of mythology dissemination call their project “Murmur”, a nicely evocative and onomatopoeic label that speaks to the underlying history that often exists below the threshold of the everyday. It’s nice to see a public artwork perform such a rewarding function, and do so flawlessly and without the “gee-whiz” factor so common to such technology-centric initiatives. Keeping fading memories or forgotten stories fresh and accessible helps to preserve the cultural memory of a city, and are often wickedly entertaining to boot. We won’t spoil the surprise by retelling any tales here, so grab your cell phone and get out there. Kensington Market and Queen West are good places to start looking, or visit http://murmurtoronto.ca/
[email this story] Posted by Barnaby Marshall & Carmen Dunjko on 04/01 at 08:55 AM

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