Schall und Rauch

(Noise and Smoke)

Interactive telephone installation

(c) 2012, Laurent Mignonneau & Christa Sommerer



This installation consists of two vintage Bakelite telephones from the 1950ies. They are placed in viewing distance to eachother.

When visitors pick up their telephone receivers, dial a number and talk into their mouthpieces, their voices are transformed into noise that echoes out from the receiver of the other phone.

Additionally, spoken words are also translates into smoke that evaporates from the mouth piece of the other phone. „Schall and Rauch“ is a German proverb for „It is all hollow words“. In the installation „Schall and Rauch“ this proverb is taken literarily and visitors interact via noise and chaotic fume rising up into the air.

Communication through smoke has a long history, it has often been used by native tribes to indicate ones presence, mark important events or to signal danger.