Thursday, 4 October 2012


(Installation by Respublica on College Green, image by Philip White)

Newly-formed TANK Collective are off to a flying start with a multidisciplinary project taking place in six telephone boxes across Dublin city centre called Engage. TANK Collective - who are abgc architecture and design, artist Nicky Hooper, fashion designer Renate Henschke and Ciaran Walsh of le cool Dublin - have commissioned six artists, designers and filmmakers to decorate eircom telephone boxes: spaces that were once part of everyday life but lately have been sitting silent. With support from eircom Respublica, Designgoat, Leo Scarff, Mick Minogue, Paul Mohan and Mint Design have transformed telephone boxes around St. Stephen's Green, College Green, Dame Street, Nassau Street and George's Street and the installations will remain in place until 8 October.

(Installation by Mint Design on St. Stephen's Green, image by Philip White)

This public interactive exhibition hopes to engage people once more with the space that used to be part of our everyday lives. Not only have the boxes themselves been refashioned but the public are also invited to step inside and pick up the receiver for more surprises. Engage utilises the telephones in each box to share with the public information on three of the city's biggest festivals: Open House Dublin, Hard Working Class Heroes and the recent Culture Night. As Ciaran Walsh says, "With Engage we are finding new uses for an old network. These once vital hubs have the potential to engage locals and visitors to our city by tapping into our emotional connection with these spaces. By also utilising the phone lines themselves we hope to inspire a positive sense of rediscovery."

(Installation by Mick Minogue on George's Street, image by Maxwell Photography)

Engage launched on Culture Night, Friday 21 September, to a great response, with several hundred people visiting each site and interacting with the installations. All six installations give you the opportunity to lift the receiver, dial a number and get information on this weekend's festivals, OHD and HWCH. There will also be some performances at the phone boxes, including a Lionel Richie tribute at Mick Minogue's Lionel'-themed installation on George's Street (vandalised but then recovered thanks to an appearance on the Six One news last week). Make sure to get to some of the phone boxes over the weekend, and keep an eye on TANK Collective on Twitter for information on performances and other happenings.