Talking Statues London

August 21, 2014

Here at Antenna, we’re proud to have developed the tech aspect of Talking Statues London and Talking Statues Manchester (here’s an article with a bit more about the tech).  These are five of the things that we think make this project really special:

The genius of this idea is in its simplicity. 
When the Talking Statues concept launched in Copenhagen in 2013, the project founder David Peter Fox asked one simple question, “if statues could talk, what stories would they tell?”. In London and Manchester, Artistic Director Colette Hiller and her team at Sing London asked that very same question about the statues that adorn these two great cities. Everything about the project is in service of that vision.  And that’s what drew talented, brilliant people like Timothy West, Mark Ravenhill, Jacqueline Wilson etc. to get involved.

The tech is designed to be intuitive. 
For this project, our aim was to make the experience for the user intuitive and easy and really, as invisible as possible.  We didn’t want people to have to download an app before they left home, so we designed three ways for people to access the content using low-cost tech:  QR, NFC and simple mobile URLs.  We’re interested in answers to these questions: did people prefer NFC to QR?  Or did they want to go straight to the mobile URL?  The University of Leicester are going to be analysing data to see what trends emerge.

There could be Talking Statues in every city all over the world.
Or Talking Buildings?  Talking Bridges?  Talking Streets?  Talking Posters? This could be a way of museums reaching out beyond their walls to make their collections more accessible and to encourage people in through the doors.

This isn’t a history lesson, this is much more about a conversation than a lecture. All content is delivered in the first person – the statue has ‘called’ the user to talk to them about something. The writers on this project have set out to help us to hear from the person behind the statue.  So we find out that Queen Victoria never said ‘We are not amused’.  Sometimes the stories are upbeat, sometimes moving – but always compelling

People’s reactions to receiving the phone call from the statue are great.
When the tech works seamlessly, and they’re connected with a statue, be it Alan Turing, Peter Pan or LS Lowry, people’s reactions are pretty priceless.  Almost like that first time on Shazam – it works….!

Oh and Nicholas Parsons is just a brilliant Hodge the Cat…. Enough said.

Contact us to find out more about this or any of our projects

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We are innovative storymakers and creative technologists devoted to visitor-first experiences.

We make audio tours, mobile apps, multimedia guides, podcasts, interactives, and superior story-driven content for the museum and cultural sector.

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