Call Alexander

Rashida Kamal

A rotary phone that allows you to find documents related to Alexander Graham Bell, its inventor, on the Library of Congress website.


The project is an exploration of a very specific subject (the invention of the telephone) presented through the combined interaction of a digital and physical interface. The choice of presenting the material in a manner that requires the user to access the information both digitally and physically mirrors the research process structurally required by the institutional decisions of the Library of Congress. The nature of the archives at the Library is such that access to our collective memory is necessarily mediated the intervention of subject area experts or by programmatic interfaces reflecting cataloguing practices that are as much an accident of history as they are systemic.

The resulting interaction points to the ways in which technology and its inventors remain illegible to the public, and how meaning-making from our collections are necessarily an esoteric act.


Artists in the Archive