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Artist Invents Hybrid Phone-Synth—for Prank Calling


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::vtol::, the project of Russian artist Dmitry Morozov, has hybridized a synthesizer, telephone and logic module to create Prankophone: an apparatus which calls recipients and plays them algorithmic melodies created from their phone numbers. Presented in a gallery space, the project was reportedly based on two historic technologies crucial to electronic music: the telephone and telegraph. The Prankophone can be used in manual, anonymous, keyboard, or live modes to reach any number of random or predetermined recipients. “Nowadays it’s averting to hear in the phone receiver any sound other than human voice,” Morozov writes. “Music means that we have to wait for the answer of the operator; strange electronic noises imply some mistake in decoding. Thus the sound from Prankophone would be perceived as some kind of mistake, though in reality it is an individual and anonymous sound message, a micro-noise piece which is unique for each number it managed to reach.”