Singapore Biennale 2006 - Walk The Talk



 New Mobile Phone Audio Guide for Visitors to Singapore Biennale 2006


The Singapore Biennale 2006 (SB2006) introduces WALK THE TALK ™, a new audio guide system that provides commentaries on art works on GSM mobile phones. By simply dialing a telephone number, visitors will be able to hear entertaining, informative audio segments about the artists, venues and art installations and the contexts in which they are being viewed.


Created by Mobile Adventures Pte Ltd, WALK THE TALK ™ features all the benefits of traditional audio guides but also incorporates unprecedented levels of freedom and interactivity, allowing user feedback on the artworks or its interpretation.  Access is free, though standard charges for making a local call apply.


Launched today, the service provides a sneak preview to fifteen of the upcoming artworks and the venues hosting each installation.  Listening points for additional installations will be progressively added in the coming weeks.  By the opening of SB2006, WALK THE TALK ™ will feature a total of fifty participating artists and their artworks.


As with museum audio guides, the system is hierarchical, allowing for populist interpretations in the main listening segment, with options to hear relatively curatorial explanations.  However, with WALK THE TALK ™ the restrictive nature of traditional audio guides is eliminated. It is now possible to take stories of culture, heritage and the arts out into city streets and making them available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, users of the system will have the freedom to suggest their own interpretations of what they see as well as listen to what others have to say.


Each art installation featured will be identified by a 3-digit code.  After dialing 6758-4155 listeners will be prompted to enter the 3-digit code.  The system features a brief overview of the artworks, followed by a series of audio options.  Each listener will have the choice to: 1) record their own impression; 2) listen to those of others; 3) hear relatively in-depth content; 4) hear a brief history of the venue.  Where possible, WALK THE TALK ™ will try to also feature recorded commentary from actual artists.  Listening segments will feature artists such as Donna Ong, Xu Bing, Yayoi Kusama and venues including Armenian Church, City Hall and Tanglin Camp, among others.  A list of the audio points currently available can be found in the Annex.


The first significant cultural event to bring contemporary visual art practices into the daily lives of Singaporeans, SB2006 highlights the relevance of contemporary art to everyday life, challenges pre-conceived notions that contemporary art is difficult to understand and explores methods of presentation beyond museums and galleries.


The Biennale aims to go beyond raising awareness, to get Singaporeans engaged, excited and inspired by contemporary art. Not only through activating everyday spaces, but by activating a mode of communication that has become so much a part of the daily lives of Singaporeans – mobile phones. With just one call, users will be able to access entertaining commentaries on SB2006 in their own space and time.