Studio Oleomingus

In the Pause Between the Ringing



In the Pause Between the Ringing.

- project Somewhere.

In the Pause between the Ringing is a rumination about completion, about territorial margins and about the haunting of bodies and memories that are translated across borders. It is an adaption of an unpublished story written by Mir Umar Hassan for the editor of the Malwa Chronicle in the July of 1958.  And it records the turbulent history of telephone mining in British India.

In a country stitched with telephone wires, it is not surprising to discover that a history of the telephone was first written in a book of Geology. The telephone is after all a noticeable fixture of the Indian landscape. And it's sonorous ringing has long heralded sudden and momentous changes in the minute destinies of its people.

The instrument can be found, amplifying the terrifying horns of Babur's army from the ragged edge of Chenab. Or clattering with the shouts of Chalukya craftsmen, that once echoed along the Badami temples.

It is even heard across time, like the chiseling of Ashoka's inscriptions that would manifest as an unresolved ringing in the inner ear of James Prinsep. Or when William Brooke O'Shaughnessy believed that, much like cholera riddled veins, these telegraph cables would let him pump restoratives straight into the heart of a troubled nation.

In this country of telephones and wires, phone directories become genealogies, telephone exchanges become places of pilgrimage and the ringing, clicking drone of its machinery - a metronome of the sporadic history of this land.

Our story is told amidst this tangle of cables and time. It is told when Iqubal awaits a telephone call and his perpetual pause forces a recollection of the terrifying history of the telephone in India.

Credits :

This project was created as part of a Commission for the Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt exhibition at V&A, London.

The game is also a part of project Somewhere, created with support from India Foundation for the Arts & Technicolor.

Displayed at :

Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt exhibition : at V&A, London.

Voxelscapes Bangalore.

Press :

Outside of the beautifully written text sections, it’s another of Oleomingus’ achingly pretty environment explorers. Rock Paper Shotgun.

At some point, the story comes back to where it had started from, and you start speaking to different characters and spaces. Live Mint.

Part interactive fiction, part audio drama, part exploratory game. In the Pause between the Ringing is a fascinating journey into the ontological impact of colonial occupation and resource exploitation through the lens of magical realism.