In 1979 D. Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayless published their book Phone Calls From the Dead. It brought together reports of paranormal experiences describing phone calls from recently deceased people. The authors connected these narratives to electromagnetic effects and electronic voice phenomenon. These experiences highlight how the phone has become a metaphor for our desire for meaning and communication. The word telephone itself plays on this concept. It comes from the Greek far or distant (τῆλε, tēle), and voice (φωνή, phōnē).
Telephones today are not just audio devices that transform sound into electronic signals. Phones are surfaces onto which we project emotional desire. They are contemporary fetish objects, surveillance devices and encyclopaedias. They isolate and connect. The artworks in this exhibition question this relationship between us and the ‘thing’ in its dumb and symbolic reality.
Curated by Francesca Gavin
Anthony D Green, Aram Bartholl, Britta Thie, Cecilie Norgaard, Christian Ingemann, Cory Arcangel, Damien Roach, Jermaine Francis, Juliette Blightman, Stephen Dunne