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The Telectroscope

22 May – 16 June 2008, New York / London

Paul St. George’s quirky pseudo-Victorian creation linked Brooklyn and London via a transatlantic tunnel and two giant telescopes.

The Telectroscope was the brainchild of British artist Paul St. George. The contraption claimed to link London and New York by means of a transatlantic tunnel and a large number of mirrors. The tunnel had been dug over a hundred years previously by St. George’s ancestor. It was up to us to reveal it.

Thousands of people invested in the illusion that they were looking through a tunnel at the other side of the world. In reality, the two cities were joined using a fast broadband connection. The broadband connection was provided by our sponsors Tiscali. There was virtually no visible delay between the time zones: a major achievement considering the scale of the project. The Telectroscope remained open 24 hours a day for almost a month, during which it received around 50,000 visitors.

Some people made new friends, some connected with old ones. One woman, on a business trip in the USA, was able to see her daughter on her birthday thanks to the Telectroscope. This strange contraption and alternative reality captured the imaginations of audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

Watch

There's a great video documentation of the project by Andy Jordan on the Wall St Journal website, and you can watch it below. It gives an idea of the impact on both sides of the pond:

 

The Artist

Paul St. George is a multimedia artist and sculptor. His projects include Minumentals, Revelation and Sequences. His work has been toured across the UK. He is also the Principal Lecturer in Art, Media and Design at London Metropolitan University.

St. George takes much of his inspiration from the many inventions that bloomed at the end of the nineteenth century. He is equally fascinated by the multi-faceted relationships between viewer and viewed. The Telectroscope can be said to be the culmination of these dual interests.

You can find out more about Paul St. George by visiting his website.

Media

In partnership with

Operational partners

  • More London
  • Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
  • Southwark Council
  • Pangea Network
  • Twofour Digital

Testimonials

It allows us all to indulge in our magical childhood dreams where the impossible suddenly becomes possible and the only limitations are our own imaginations.

New York resident

An utterly zany and quite brilliant installation.

Sunday Times, June 2008

We all really enjoyed our trip to the telectroscope – it was very moving to see my baby niece, I nearly cried! Thanks again.

Kitty (London)

What a fantastic piece of public art. Please, please don’t remove it from More London – can it not be a permanent fixture? I want to make many more visits.

Louisa (London)

I moved from Brooklyn to London earlier this year, and was thrilled to be able to visit my Stateside friends. Thank you for giving me a bit of home.

Becky (London)

We went down to the Thames today to have a look at the Telectroscope. It was such fun to watch New Yorkers in real–time. I think we should definitely campaign to got it made a permanent installation.

Julia, Joe, Becky, Tom and Tilly (London)

Congratulations! A brilliant installation.

John (New York)

THANK YOU for creating such an amazing gift and opportunity. I’m still reeling from the experience.

Bex (New York)

Hats off to Paul St. George for the idea and to Artichoke for execution.

Dave (New York)

I was in New York this weekend and got my husband to bring my five year old daughter to the Telectroscope in London so she could wave at her Mum. What a fabulous invention!

Catherine Hanley (New York)

This was so fun. Seeing London at 3am. Cool and beyond description. You have to do it if you are near it!

Anonymous (New York)

Thanks so much. This is great fun. We’ve visited it it twice already. I held up my dog to wave and exchanged names. Hello Bernie wherever you are!

Tony (New York)

This was a wonderful experience for my husband, Jose, and I. Don’t know how it’s done, but the idea is ingenious!

Evelyn

This is a wonderful and beautiful and brilliant project! Congratulations!

Sean Hennessey

A completely fascinating art work that removes the walls between us as we reach through space and time, to briefly become players in another world.

Anne

It allows us all to indulge in our magical childhood dreams where the impossible suddenly becomes possible and the only limitations are our own imaginations.

Anne

Astounding: I am speechless, Why is it going to be on display until June 15th only? It should remain forever.

Valerie

This was just fantastic – especially the (silent) rousing chorus of Happy Birthday. Just brilliant - made my day.

Kevin

This is one of the most original pieces of art that I have seen in quite some time. Well pulled off and thought provoking. As someone who is not a regular purveyor of the visual arts, the manner in which this was done is inspiring.

Anonymous

This is a very amazing way of connecting people around the world. I ad the opportunity to wish my mate a happy birthday down the tube. Priceless.

Chantal

We have lived in Brooklyn Heights, New York for 10 yrs and all our family live in London – we have often dreamed of a tunnel that would link us all together (one of our favourite bedtime stories when the children were younger). Make all those bedtime dreams come true!

Sarah, Paul, Grace & Phoebe (New York)

Vital statistics

Visitors

50,000 +

Days of continuous connection

25

Distance from London to NY

5585km

Website hits

2.2m

High speed, uncontended link from London – New York

1

Marriage proposals

4

Conferences held

1 – the Transatlantic Inter-Era Telectroscope Steampunk Conference

Selected Media Coverage