Dial a Curator

Dial a Curator is a modified landline phone that provides pre-recorded audio stories about the City Reliquary Museum collection. For the first installment of this project, resident geologist, Nik Sokol provided stories about the “Geology of NY” display case. The user flow mimics that of a real phone. When the phone handset is resting on the base a light pulsates, suggesting there is a new message on the phone. Upon picking up the phone the light immediately stops pulsating and a dial tone can be heard. The user can then press a button on the phone that corresponds to an item in the case to hear a story.

The project consists of an Arduino, WAV shield and a modified landline phone. To ensure durability most of the original elements of the phone have been rewired to interface with an Arduino. Museum staff can simply switch out audio files by updating the SD card on the Wave shield and using a specific naming convention (key_1.wav, key_2.wav, key_#.wav, etc.) that is recognized by the Arduino code.

This project is installed at the The City Reliquary, a museum in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that houses unique personal collections dealing with the history of New York.


Concept: Rosalind Paradis, Eric Jiang, Linda Xui and Carrie Liu

Fabrication/Physical Computing: Rosalind Paradis

Code: Rosalind Paradis & Eric Jiang

Audio: Carrie Liu