The hidden life of Austin’s street furniture will come to light next month with the launch of Hello Lamp Post, an international art project created by London-based designers Pan Studio which invites people to strike up conversations with familiar objects around the city using text messaging. The project has been commissioned by the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department in celebration of the Art in Public Places program’s 30th anniversary year, and in partnership with Art Alliance Austin. Starting February 12, anyone can text the official Hello Lamp Post phone number and “wake up” lamp posts, mail boxes, hydrants, or even buildings and discover what these objects have to say. The public is invited to a free kick-off event, complete with drinks and bites, February 12, 4-6 p.m. at Republic Square Park, 422 Guadalupe Street. A short video about the project, starring the streets of Austin, is available now at www.hellolamppostaustin.com. Hello Lamp Post is a city-wide platform for play that allows participants to talk to the city’s infrastructure and share stories using the text messaging function on any mobile phone – no smart phones required. People can interact with any object they choose, in any part of the city, because the project utilizes the thousands of pre-existing identifier codes that label items of street furniture, including (but not limited to) lamp posts, mail boxes, moontowers, utility boxes, manholes, or telephone poles.