Each question is posted to a Firebase instance through the user-facing Angular app. For each new question, a webpage constantly running on a smartphone hidden inside of the pedestal converts the text to speech via tts-api.com, then simply plays the returned MP3 through the megaphones line-in.
The megaphone is supported by a custom designed prop printed on the UP 3D printer as detailed below, then modified by hand with a drill press
Detail of custom prop designed in Cinema 4D
Megaphone, custom prop, pedestal
Townhall (side view) Spring 2015 Megaphone, custom prop, pedestal
Townhall (at Baltimore Penn Station) Spring 2015 Megaphone, custom prop, pedestal
Townhall (in gallery setting, Maryland Institue College of Art) Spring 2015 Megaphone, custom prop, pedestal
Townhall attempts to create an anonymous platform through which anyone with an internet connection can bring powerful questions to the ears of the public. The sculpture itself is simply a megaphone atop a traditional pedestal, but through a web interface, an anonymous user is able to send questions to the megaphone and have them be announced aloud to whomever is around.
The questions are announced in that monto-toned computer generated voice contemporary viewers have come to recognize. With an emphasis on submitting questions to the megaphone, as opposed to general statements or comments, Townhall asserts that the rhetorical nature of a question is inherently more powerful than that of a statement. By definition, questions seek information; and in doing so, they move conversation forward.