The Chain of Stress Stations
There are seven different kinds of devices in the Chain of Stress Stations: the Small Poetry Ambulance automats, Confession Phone booths, Trouble Bank terminals, Zen Traffic Lights, Trouble Mailboxes, Lokaalraadio Megaphones, and the big illuminated M-signs. All these machines – Stress Stations – are located all over the city as different clusters that form the Chain of Stress Stations.
The Small Poetry Ambulance automat reminds of a parking terminal, but when taking a closer look at it, you will discover that it does not want your money. Instead, its soothing voice recites classical poetry. The automat is multilingual: three different buttons offer you to choose between Estonian, Russian and English to hear the everlasting poems by Marie Under, Aleksandr Blok or William Butler Yeats, for instance.
The Confession Phone is an old-fashioned telephone booth that works as a confessional – you can tell your worries to the phone and the phone gives you solutions. When picking up the handset, the phone asks you to choose the language (this device is also three-lingual), after which you will be asked to tell your worry and press a button (the star, for instance). The invisible confessor gives a reply to your worry – this time it is not poetry, but an explicit maxim (‘Watch the flowing water’, for instance).
The Trouble Bank terminal directly addresses money troubles. It is a cash dispenser that instead of cash notes gives out poetry on paper. This machine issues modern poetry of the new generation. To keep up with the trendiest creation, new poems are added every month and thus the Trouble Bank serves as an original fresh poetry magazine. We would like to keep usage of this Bank terminal very simple.
The terminal is three-lingual and operates as follows: first you have to choose the language as you do with the normal cash dispenser. Then on the screen appears randomly chosen poem, you can enter the name of the poet or seek authors and poems by yourself as well. As a result, the machine prints out a ‘cheque’ with a soothing poem or haiku.
The unique terminal of the Trouble Bank will be located at the bar of Von Krahl Theatre and will be opened on November 18th 2011.
Zen Traffic Lights remind of the usual traffic lights at first sight. Closer exploration reveals that the colour combinations are a bit peculiar – pink, cyan and violet, for instance – and the colours change with unexpected pace. The traffic lights are equipped with one button, but pushing the button does not help you to cross the street or to move forward quickly – this device tells you to take your time instead, and declares zen-values to the ‘deaf and blind’ or even reproaches the workaday hurrying.
Trouble Mailbox is a mailbox where the citizens can leave their troubles in the form of letters – or even in the form of poems, which is a good means of expression for all of those who have slipped their writings into the drawer so far.
The Trouble Mailbox is located at the Big Guild Square (Pikk Street 20).
LokaalRaadio Megaphones are set up by LokaalRaadio, which is an experimental media environment (initiators Raul Keller and Katrin Essenson). The broadcasting area this time remains in the close vicinity of the megaphones. At daytime the radio station delivers self-productions and different sounds, including the calming murmurs of the wind and sea waves. In the evening a special program is produced that covers and treats the troubles and worries that have piled up during the day.
The Megaphones of LokaalRaadio are located in front of Kanuti Gildi SAAL (Pikk Street 20).
Ps! We are sad to announce that vandals have broken the Radio and since last weekend (4th of September) Radio is silent.
The Big M-Sign of the Stress Station reminds of the metro-signs in Moscow, but this one has no circle. Why M? Simply because ‘worry/trouble’ means ‘Mure’ in Estonian. The big M-sign does not direct you, neither does it speak. It is an installation, the purpose and meaning of which has been left for each and every one of you to think about on your own. The big ‘M’ just glows and if we get the permission from the authorities, we will also place a bench or a chair next to it so that you can rest your feet and contemplate… does Tallinn need a metro or not, for instance?
The Big M-Sign is located at Harju Street.
This post is also available in: Estonian