Hello Lamp Post: Austin hits the streets Feb. 12 – April 27

    Hello Lamp Post: Austin hits the streets Feb. 12 - April 27

    02/12/2015 | Thursday | 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

    Republic Square Park
    422 Guadalupe St
    Austin,Texas 78701

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    The hidden life of Austin’s street furniture will come to light next month with the launch of Hello Lamp Post, an international art project created by London-based designers PAN Studio which invites people to strike up conversations with familiar objects around the city using text messaging. The project has been commissioned by the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department in celebration of the Art in Public Places program’s 30th anniversary year, and in partnership with Art Alliance Austin. Starting Feb. 12, anyone can text the official Hello Lamp Post phone number and “wake up” lamp posts, mail boxes, hydrants, or even buildings and discover what these objects have to say. The public is invited to a free kick-off event, complete with drinks and bites, Feb. 12, 4-6 p.m. at Republic Square Park, 422 Guadalupe St. A short video about the project, starring the streets of Austin, is available now at www.hellolamppostaustin.com.


    Hello Lamp Post is a citywide platform for play that allows participants to talk to the city’s infrastructure and share stories using the text messaging function on any mobile phone – no smart phones required. People can interact with any object they choose, in any part of the city, because the project utilizes the thousands of pre-existing identifier codes that label items of street furniture, including (but not limited to) lamp posts, mail boxes, moontowers, utility boxes, manholes or telephone poles.


    Here’s how to play:

    Step 1: The participant chooses an item of street furniture with a unique reference code – a code can be a combination of numbers and letters, such as a serial number. Step 2: The particiant then sends a text message to the Hello Lamp Post phone number with a message in the format “Hello OBJECTTYPE #OBJECTCODE.” For example: “Hello lamp post #402455” or “Hello moontower #BS2032.”

    Step 3: Follow the conversation – the participant should receive a reply text soon and answer the object’s questions to learn what other people have said.


    After the first conversation, participants can keep playing. Hunting down and waking up as many objects as possible, or returning to the same objects for more in-depth conversations. Different objects will ask participants about different things and, as more people play, objects develop personalities and share stories that were anonymously given to them by other players. The Hello Lamp Post phone number will be become available on Feb. 12. The project is free to anyone, but standard text messaging rates apply.