[ISEA2009] Paper: Ralph Borland & Tim Redfern – Entertainment and mobility


This paper describes the electronic art project SMSage. SMSage is a security camera that speaks using a text to speech algorithm. After greeting passers-by identified through broadcast names of their Bluetooth devices, it asks to be sent SMS text messages, which it recites, verbatim at first, and then rearranged and spliced with previous messages. SMSage was exhibited at Conflux 2007 in Brooklyn, New York, and will be exhibited as part of ISEA 2009, in Dublin. This paper, written by the project’s authors, describes their motivations and intentions for the project, and situates it in relation to existing fields of practice: the creation of platforms for expression by the public, through text-message or otherwise; works that interact with surveillance networks; and cutup poetry production. They describe the modification and construction of hardware and software elements to enable the project’s behaviour. Some observations from the public installations to date are noted, and some recommendations for progressing the project conclude the paper.

  • Ralph Borland & Tim Redfern, SMSage

Full Text (PDF) p.  45-54