2004 / video / 20 mins

A film made out of telephone conversations with strangers living within sight of my home.

From 2004 to 2006 I lived in a tiny houseboat on Regent's Canal in a dense residential area in Central London. From my window I could see 543 windows belonging to 322 flats. 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 I called each number.

I said that they could see my house if they wanted if they looked out the window, and I asked them if they would like to have a chat. Once it was clear that I wasn't selling anything many people stayed on the phone and talked with me.

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. I met a gambler who told me about being £2,000,000 in debt who only broke off the conversation to go to the races, a woman who told me how she brings up her girls to be independent of men, a the lonely man who in his youth you didn't have to look at twice and a man who sells watches opposite Tescos who is worried about his wife not being pregnant.

Hello sets out to temporarily ignore the usual barriers that exist between strangers. The telephone is a device that ensures anonymity of the participents, as well as giving them a similar directorial role to myself. Each participant decided when to "cut" their section by hanging up the phone.

editor: Herbert Hunger / sound: Gernot Führman / director: Lenka Clayton