Connecting - sharing voices of local people with local people

Talk to Me is an artist-led digital experiment, an ongoing public conversation, harnessing public thinking and ideas around response to place and environment.

It exists as a physical digital installation booth and a website, takes a dialogic, artistically relevant, accessible approach to artist-led public consultation and co-production.

Talk To Me was initially commissioned by The Harris Museum, Art Gallery, and Library, Preston. You can commission, and invite your community to Talk to Me.

Our audience (both in the booth and online) saw a digital artwork, were asked a question, and their response was recorded. They were be able to join in the conversation, ask questions and record answers online and through social media, to create a conversation between our physical and digital audiences.

Our commissioners are interested in experimenting with the evaluation process to get closer to the public’s opinions, abstracting it from the usual, lifting barriers of real feedback and participation, and placing this in an artistic realm through narrative accessible digital art pieces to invite creative and ‘from the heart’ responses from the public.

Each commissioned space had:

+ A thematic of questioning & specific questions commissioned by the commissioning body
+ Questions suggested by the general public
+ The booth on site for a week (or more dependent of needs).
+ A site-responsive artwork commissioned for digital online & physical instillation
+ A live social media conversation in the run up to and duration of the on site activity
+ An area of the Talk to Me website dedicated to the recorded & social media responses.

The artistic commissions are short collaborative piece across the online and physical instillation digital spaces.

Through the booth and the online spaces, the commissions play with notions from of reality tv ‘diary-rooms’, skype and instant message conversations and phone apps, digital archiving and remix, and nod to the ‘mass observation’ project of the mid 20th century. The artistic works set a narrative tone which interpret the environment in which the booth is placed, alongside exploring how the digital expands into our everyday life – through our own conscious and subconscious participation, by demand or by design.

The Harris Museum commission

The Harris Museum, Art Gallery, & Library intervention took place between 16 March23 March 2016. Exploring the Harris through questions and conversations with exhibition attendees in and around the Harris. Their experiences of The Harris and Preston, with reference to ideas around ‘the museum of the future’.

Sample responses:

Describe your most memorable time here.

Coming to the Preston guild in 1992, being greatly impressed by the wonderful community spirit and involvement with the different types of organisations, private companies, public sector organisations, trade associations, community groups, fabulous and it gave me the impression that Preston is a pretty good place, with proud history and a lot of people who like living in the place. See the full video response here:

Why is this place important to you or to Preston?

As a student visiting the city I wouldn’t know anything about Preston without the museum. A museum is really important for students and it gives them a sense of place and it makes sure we aren’t being a bit parasitic to the city which we call home for 3 years.
See the full video response here:

View the responses here,  post a question of your own or watch the commissioned audiovisual pieces by artists Tin Can People and Josh Horsley.

The ‘Talk to Me’ booth was designed by Rosanna Peploe and contructed and deliverd by our sponsors  Colon Contruction.

If you are interested in commissioning ‘Talk to Me’ please contact