Sale Away was commissioned by the European Media Art Festival (EMAF) in Osnabrueck, 2004.
The piece was installed in a popular shopping street in Osnabrueck designed to actively engage passerbyâ€™s. Sale Away invites people to play with a complex mechanical sound orchestra installed in a shop front using their mobile phones.
The mechanical orchestra consists of custolmised household appliances, which might normally be found in a shop window. The various sound devices are arranged in groups. To start the orchestra and wake up the installation, passers-by can dial the number posted on the window. This call triggers an animated mobile-phone robot person displayed on a monitor. A robot invites the passers-by to â€œplayâ€ the orchestra through their phone with simple dial commands. Visitors can play the instruments and compose using the sound compositions.
The first thing the player sees is an animated mobile-phone robot person displayed on a monitor inviting to dial a phone number
When the player calls this number,Â The player can start the installation and (de)activate any of the objects in the room by pressing keys on their mobile.
Pressing key â€œ0â€³ starts the installation, pressing key â€œ1â€³, for example, dancing tumble dryers. Key â€œ7â€³, on the other hand, could be Vacuum cleaners playing various flutes . Pressing the same key again silences that â€œvoiceâ€ of the orchestra. When pressing â€œ# keys will select one of the three sound compositions . The player can control all sounds and different instruments, he can change the character from a silent minimal to a loud, powerful and playful and complex one. The time per session is limited to 5 minutes.
There have been differing versions of Sale Away in: Transmediale Berlin, Tschumipavijloen in Groningen, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. inside the bridge over the Rein (Deutzer BrÃ¼cke) in Cologne, at Todays Art Festival in Den Haag, at Dordtyart, at Le Lieu Unique in NantesÂ and at the opening of Steirischer Herbst in Graz. The piece was also used as a framework for a 4 day workshop at the MOCA in Taipei.
â€œI went several times along at your installation and I’am always surprised to see that the installation reaches/attracts very different people. Kids, people returning from shopping- opening the fridge, people returning to the installation to show it to their friends, etc. Typical communication: 1)person: What is this? 2)person: This is art. Aha- Look there-Does it really work? I’am sure you would like to see these smiling faces at your work as well.Best wishesâ€ (Alfred Rotert, EMAF, 21.-25. April 2004)