TELEPHONE: An International Arts Experiment

TELEPHONE: An International Arts Experiment

Presented by the Satellite Collective

telephone satellite collective

What is TELEPHONE?

TELEPHONE works just like the children’s game of the same name. Also called Operator, Grapevine, Phonebook, Ear-To-Ear, TELEPHONE is simple. One person comes up with a message and whispers it to another person. That person whispers to the next person. As the whispered message travels through the sequence of players, the message changes, it evolves, it surprises.

In our game of TELEPHONE, we whispered the message from art form to art form. So the message could become poetry, then a painting, then music, then film, and so on. Each artist was only aware of the work of art that directly preceded her or his own. Each artist received a work and was told to translate the message into the language of his or her own art form.

The other twist was that when an artist sent back their interpretive work, we then “whispered” it to two or three other artists. Instead of progressing in a single, straight line, our game of TELEPHONE branched out exponentially like a family tree. This interactive, online exhibition presents 315 original and interconnected works in 18 different art forms, created specifically for this experiment by artists from 159 cities in 42 countries. And it all originated with a single message.

Explore TELEPHONE

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