Saturday, 10 September 2011
Teleconfessional consists of a couple of back-to-back phone booths with minor additions. A wooden stool with cushion adds comfort. A dark curtain adds anonymity. A light bulb indicates the phone booth is in use. The number of the adjacent phone is given.
The public are invited to enter the booths and to converse with a stranger. Having a listening ear helps them deal with their guilt and concerns. By not being able to see the stranger but knowing that they are close and have willingly offered themselves, this facilitates a meaningful dialogue. The two people are equal and no redemption is given.
Teleconfessional is an opportunity to pause and think. We do not need to broadcast that which should be kept private. Ironically, with an ever increasing multitude of ways to communicate, there seems to be absence of opportunities to “talk”. By talking anonymously to a stranger about our guilt and concerns, we can hopefully feel a bit better about ourselves.
Teleconfessional is a response to Joe Moran’s article in The Guardian on 9th June 2010 entitled: “The age of Big Brother demands we reveal our true selves. Better we don’t.”