As part of Tate Online's 40 artists, 40 days - a project in support of London's Olympic and Paralympic Bid to bring the Games to Britain in 2012, Blast Theory presented a phone based version of Single Story Building which had previously existed as a screen based piece. The work is both a catalogue and an archive of hidden places, gathered from interviews with friends. Most are real, some are fictional, one or two are imaginary. All are important to someone.
In this interactive work, the participant drills through two thousand either/or questions. Starting with the question ‘Urban or Rural?’, the piece moves from the expansive into the cloistered, finally arriving at a secret and private space. Reminiscent of ’10×10′ by Charles and Ray Eames, it uses this swoop in scale to explore the taste of the participant, whilst gently mocking the notion of interactivity itself. Single Story Building constructs a taxonomy of spaces that are drawn from fiction and memory and then organises them into a rigid hierarchical system of interaction. It diverts the interactive system of the call centre – prioritised on efficiency, cost savings and ergonomics – in the direction of the private and ineffable, leaving the listener to speculate about the significance of each space described.
Single Story Building was accessible by phone at any time. Participants called the number and then used their phone’s keypad to navigate through the work.