Creatual Ring of Tones Phones Closeup

Ring of Tones


It had been handed down to the older generation as a revolutionary event. With the words ‘This is Radio Kootwijk tower’ the first step was taken on the road to hypermodern communications. The iconic words spoken by Queen Emma when she initiated the radio telephone service in 1929: ‘Hello Bandung, can you hear me?’ Telephone contact with friends and relatives living in the Dutch East Indies had become a reality. Initially, the quality of the connection was poor and the price of a telephone conversation was astronomical. All the same. At the end of 1998 Radio Kootwijk was decommissioned for good. The architectural masterpiece with its industrial aura stands in intriguing contrast to its untouched surroundings in the protected nature reserve. In 2009, eighty years after it was opened, the building was transferred to the Forestry Commission which also owns the surrounding nature reserve. Following substantial renovations, the building was to be reopened as a cultural-historical monument that would also serve as a location for special events. A new life for a fantastic building, that called for an extraordinary event and a fitting creatual.

How the creatual Ring of Tones plays out

While the director gives his speech, a huge metal ring descends from the ceiling. Attached to the ring are hundreds of tiny white bags, creating the illusion of a chandelier. The director takes his mobile phone out and places the device in one of the little bags. He calls on the guests to do likewise. For a while, the guests experience once again what it’s like to be disconnected from the rest of the world. They follow the director’s example and then watch the ring with their phones attached disappear towards the ceiling. Suddenly a phone rings, and then another… and another. A cacophony of ringtones unfolds up on high, interspersed with historical recordings of the very first telephone calls. At the end of the ceremony the guests are asked to decipher a special Morse code message.


The situation:
A former radiotelegraph transmitter is to be used as a location for conferences about sustainability.

The context:
An event to mark the reopening of a cultural-historical moment.

The request:
A creatual emphasizing the building’s former and current functions.

Number of participants:

The Creative Alchemist’s response:
A brief moment of unconnectedness that leads to a symphony of ringtones with a hidden message.