2005. Video, 10 minutes
A film based on telephone conversations with strangers living within sight of my home.
I lived in a houseboat in central London. From my window I could see 543 other windows. By consulting the local electoral roll and the telephone operator services I was able to find the phone numbers for 92 of those homes, and over two weeks set about trying to engage the inhabitants in conversation.
This film follows the unfolding of these conversations, from people shouting at me to leave them alone, to people who thanked me for the chance to speak to somebody. Some people were only to happy to tell a complete stranger their life stories, like the gambler who was £2,000,000 in debt who only broke off the conversation to go to the races, the woman who told me how she brings up her girls to be independent of men and the man who sells watches opposite Tescos who is worried about his wife not being pregnant.
This project sets out to temporarily ignore the barriers that exist between strangers. It uses a method of communication which allows the interviewee a degree of anonymity and a similar directorial role to the interviewer as they're able to end the conversation by simply putting down the telephone.
Directed, Produced and Filmed by Lenka Clayton
Editor: Herbert Hunger