Text about ‘Storyboard’ from Axis’ Open Frequency:
‘Storyboard’ was commissioned in 2005 by the contemporary gallery g39 for May You Live in Interesting Times, Cardiff’s inaugural Festival of Creative Technology. ‘Storyboard’ provided an opportunity for members of the public to post mobile phone text messages to a Variable Message Sign, a familiar sight in city centres, often displaying news of traffic disruption and road safety. Here, the VMS became the host for a public display of intimate and deeply personal text messages sourced from the people of Cardiff, and the internet:
‘Just as the writer of Doctor Who was signing copies of a new book for fans in a nearby bookshop, the message ‘Bad Wolf’, a reference to the latest Doctor Who series mysteriously appeared on the Stefhan Caddick’s electronic storyboard sign outside. Next a local Big Issue seller was given a helping hand with a message that read, ‘Big Issue for sale here. Please buy one’. But it was a mock-ominous message to the city as a whole that had most Saturday morning shoppers amused. It read, simply: ‘Good Morning Cardiff. Big Brother is watching. Look behind you’.’ (‘Sign Of The Times’, Blog, 29 October 2005).
During the project’s second incarnation at g39, Cardiff, the messages ranged from the endearing, “WOULD YOU BE MY VALENTINE’S”…? Well I’m asian lady seeking for a Valentines mate maybe not this time but in the future. Reply me back at +85267384*** JULY” (sent from a woman in South China), to the random, “Lisen i know who u are and i now u have got this phone so plz less not have troble can u put phone some were i can have it bk just tex me bk and tel me were ur gona put the bk,” to those which were location and time specific and left for a particular person to see: “Fed up of waiting, Sarah, Gone to the pub. Why are you always late? Dave”.