I’m not obsessed, I just like phone boxes OK?

by Katie Anderson

Red phone boxes have come full circle. In their original inception, post office red – as the chosen colour for the boxes was considered a blot on rural landscapes and some were painted grey/green in an attempt to merge them into their surroundings.

Image

All credit goes to Colin Tennant for his fab photography

 

Since then, over 70,000 K6 boxes (the more recognisable model http://www.the-telephone-box.co.uk/kiosks/k6/) were introduced by 1968 and somewhere along the line they gravitated to an iconic symbol of a time in passing – as nostalgia grows.

 

Phone boxes have once again become a blot of the landscape; crumbling, forgotten as technology has overtaken them at great speeds.

 

Gradually they are now vanishing (and this vanishing is perhaps gathering momentum http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22861389), and local communities are taking it upon themselves to rescue

preserve

cling to what has become a cultural artefact of our age.

Then what? Having preserved a slice of history is one thing, but an obsolete object – it’s function ripped out, a hollow shell, it is functionality that keeps these objects from becoming buried in the undergrowth.

 

Re-entering these forgotten spaces is a strange experience. Pulling back the weeds, cautiously aware of the old doors – could the whole structure keel over at any moment? Brushing years of cobwebs and stoor aside

And then

 

a muffled silence

 

As the weight of the door closes behind. Enclosed, encased – but all the while peering out of grimy windows.

Absent mindedly checking the handset for the tone informing me that after all this time it is still wired in…

 

For the EAFS weekend, a temporary work will attempt to explore alternative uses for Clarencefield’s phone box. Lovingly rescued after the loss of the Ruthwell box, the work is a tester, an experiment, an exploration of the phone boxes original purpose – communication.

 

Latitude 55.00505 Longitude -3.42246

 

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