Monster Telephone Helpline

This was an audio installation created in collaboration with Patrick Furness back in 2010, permanently installed at Hoxton Street Monster Supplies.

Behind the monster supply shop is a non-profit creative writing centre that helps children and young people to develop their writing.

The telephone helpline has been designed to help monsters, zombies and yetis with any problems they might have. Navigate various menus via the keypad, and find adverts, warnings and helpful advice to suit your particular need. For example, dancing lessons for carnivorous plants, how to look after invisible pets, lists of garlic-free restaurants for vampires etc.

This was put together using the primitive options for audio technology available at the time - much easier to do this sort of thing now! For example check out this storytelling system for Battersea Arts Centre made in 2023.

After dismantling a computer keyboard, connections were carefully soldered inside and linked to a telephone keypad. This allowed the telephone to control a computer via USB.

My old Apple eMac was hidden in a cupboard, with the audio fed back up to the telephone handset.

Patrick worked with some very talented voice artists to create the audio, and created a clever program to trigger the samples (or could this be a cobweb made by a number-eating spider?)

The shop contains plenty of contributions made by other artists, including a cat basket containing an invisible cat (with purring and mewing sounds coming from a hidden speaker)

There are also various monster products available to buy, although unfortunately they had temporarily run out of snot and brain jam last time I visited.

The blue note reads "Lost dog: 4 ears, very hairy, 3 legs and big and loves flowers"

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