Phoning It In
Ok, I've been hinting at this for a while, but here are the official details... This Wednesday I will be presenting a photo-illustrated (and/or illustrated photo!) monologue called "What My Telephones Knew About Me," at a Pacific Film Archive event called Busy Signals: Telephonic Art in Motion. As I said in an earlier post, it will be about all the embarrassing stories my previous telephones could tell about me, if they could talk. It will also sort of compare the "public memories" of photos with the "private memories" associated with the telephone. I confirmed with curator Steve Seid, today, that I will be going on after Christian Marclay's "Telephones" and before Andy Warhol's "Phoney." So no pressure to be entertaining, right?! Below are excerpts from Steve's write-up:
BUSY SIGNALS: TELEPHONIC ART IN MOTION
Though classified as a communications device, the telephone really is an instrument of culture. The phone has always shaped the way people relate by collapsing distance, reinventing conversation, even questioning the notion of privacy. But in recent years, especially with the advent of the cell phone, this device has been at the hub of a lively and inventive commerce in data delivery, fashion, recreation, intercourse, and even art. Now we have miniaturized movies dropped into waiting receivers; camera phones uploading stills to Web storage; ringtones merchandised as personal branding; text messaging coming on like a poetry slam. As usual, artists have answered the call, wringing minimalist melody from polyphonics, disrupting the everyday with creative pranks, or simply investigating the meaning of messages from nowhere. Join us for two evenings of Busy Signals: toney performance, cellular trickery, and films about phones. We promise, not a single wrong number. [....]
WED NOV 16 2005 7:30 "Rotary": Live Performance by Marisa Olson. Andy Warhol's riotous quasi-TV show Phoney stars his Factory luminaries, while Christian Marclay's Telephones stars just about everyone famous as he pillages Hollywood films for a montage about the anxiety of human intercourse. [....]
Update: I posted some of my favorite images from the monologue above (click thumbnails to see larger versions) and I posted the whole show on Flickr. It seemed to go pretty well. I was a bit anxious because it was the first time I've ever broached personal tragedy in this way. (Humiliation and failure are old hat, but adding straight up tragedy to the comedy routine was a new challenge.) I received some really great feedback, though... I gave a guest lecture in Scott Snibbe's seminar at SFAI, in the three hours prior to the performance, and doing so really put my practice into perspective in a way that helped me prepare for the intensity of the monologue.