Karl Anderson: Futel

Futel: The Telephone of the Future, Today

Website: Futel

At first glance, Futel is nothing more than a collection of payphones installed in publicly accessible locations, no different than the phones found on every street corner. Except one doesn’t have to pay to use them. And if the caller doesn’t have a human to interact with, one will be provided. And there aren’t any payphones around anymore, anyway.

Find out what we hope to achieve by starting a free telephone network. We will discuss our spiritual ancestors in the phone phreak and mail artist community, as well as our philosophical background in creating useful and nonuseful devices out of discarded junk, and the importance of retaining skills with obsolete interactive technology.

Karl Anderson is a hardware and software experimenter who is good at thinking up projects but bad at predicting whether or not they will be practical. With C.H.U.N.K. 666, he has created amphibious human-powered vehicles out of trash. With the Church of Robotron, he has built a post-apocalyptic training facility, indoctrination center, and reading room based on the tenets of a coin-operated video game.