JessyCom (working title)

The JessyCom project will continue the Miscommunication Technologies series of works, following Miss Information, deadSwap, YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME!?, and Thimbl.

Miscommunication Technologies is an ongoing project by Dmytri Kleiner in collaboration with the Telekommunisten Network. Dmytri also wrote the book Telekommunist Manifesto in collaboration with INC. Miscommunication Technologies employ satire and emphasize simplicity and human interactions over technological sophistication, creating platforms that don’t often work as expected, or work in unexpected ways. Miscommunication Technologies uncover the social relations embedded in network topologies and communications platforms.

During his residency at the Digital Art Center, Dmytri will give a presentation on the Telekommunist Manifesto, which discusses the Political Economy of networks and information. The manifesto outlines many ideas that are core to the practice of the Telekommunisten Network. Dmytri will also introduce Thimbl, deadSwap and other Telekommunisten projects.

The main focus of the residency will the development of jessyCom. With the help of Tsila Hassine and the Israeli Center for Digital Art Center, a storefront in the Jessy Cohen neighborhood will be converted into a kiosk that resembles those used to market mobile telephone service, but instead will promote “JessyCom” a platform where users can “Share Messages and Win Prizes.”  The Jessy Cohen neighbourhood is an underprivileged neighbourhood, many neighbourhood people, especially youth, have mobile phones, but most have no credit, so they can receive calls, but not make any.

When JessyCom receives a phone call, it automatically connects the caller to a randomly selected person that has signed-up for JessyCom, the caller can then pass on a message to this person. Starting from these two people, JessyCom is an implementation of the “random phone call” model of network broadcasting. Information is passed by word of mouth throughout an entire network byway of a series of calls between randomly selected people.

The original message is passed vocally from person to person in a “broken telephone” style until every person in the group has received the message. Other than the original caller, nobody else needs to have any phone credit to participate, as all random calls are initiated by the JessyCom telephone switch and thus are incoming calls for the participants.

To build interest in JessyCom the project will focus around a contest. People will be encouraged to sign-up for JessyCom for the chance to win free top-up cards to get credit for their existing mobile operator. The contest will employ the system to spread special messages into the community, and then award prizes of phone credit to randomly selected community members who know the original message.
Explaining this contest will be the primary role of the storefront, website and other materials. We hope that the contest will incentivize members of the community to join. Once they know how the system works by joining the contest, they can initiate new messages own and employ JessyCom as they like.

Unlike typical social networks, where communication is self-selected into circles of “friends,” JessyCom works byway of co-operation of randomly selected people. The “random phone call” broadcast model will connect random people. Users of different ages, with different ethnic and economic backgrounds will need to talk to each and work together for the communication platform to work.

With a bit of co-operation, JessyCom allows one phone call to reach an entire community.

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