Futel is a free telephone company. We offer domestic calls, messaging, human interaction, connections to services, and interactive challenges. All services are free of charge and accessible from any Futel telephone.
Futel is a cross between a public service, a city-wide art installation, and a confusing artifact. We are inspired by public kiosks, shared experiences, the re-use of discarded technology, and unconventional interactions hidden behind ordinary exteriors. While Futel will always provide a straightforward and easy to use service, we also appreciate how art is formed by constraints, by roundabout paths or unexpected juxtapositions.
Towards both goals - usefulness and inspiration - we are installing publicly accessible free payphones. Access to services from the wider telephone network is in development, because we think it will be useful to some of our less privileged users, but the start of any Futel interaction will always be the Futel phone.
We currently have one permanent public phone and several temporary phones, we're breaking ground for a second permanent phone this fall, and we've submitted proposals for several other permanent locations. Our phones are armored, weatherproof, and maintenance free - they just need internet access and a solid place to attach them.
Funded by Portland, OR (October 2014)