When we last heard from the Art Guys, they delivered a "final statement" regarding their beef with filmmaker Morgan Spurlock over his alleged plagiarism of their SUITS project. "There is nothing more to say and we are not interested in spending any more of our time with this issue as we are concerned with other ideas and projects. Simply put, we have better things to do," they wrote.
And they weren't kidding.
For their new project Idle Chatter, Jack Massing and Michael Galbreth have outfitted the Vanderbilt University Department of Art's E. Bronson Ingram Studio Art Center with a phone.
Right. Big deal, you say.
But wait, the Guys are allowing anyone, anywhere, to call the phone number and say or do whatever they want--when connected, the voices will be broadcast live in the gallery space. Essentially, the work is a conduit for whatever the audience decides to make it.
There's no dialogue; no performance artist interacting with gallery goers live or over the internet (not that there's anything wrong with that). We imagine the calls will run the gamut: boring, pretentious, preachy, obscene, sarcastic, angry, clever, sharp, sweet, embarrassing, depressing, hilarious, brilliant and profound.
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"Idle Chatter addresses and plays with the phenomenon of the ubiquity of telephones in everyday life. The materials of this sculptural arrangement are the ephemeral voices and sounds of the callers which are transmitted from remote locations to the exhibition space...The devices in the gallery space will not be formatted to be used by gallery visitors. Nor is the purpose of Idle Chatter to demonstrate the sophistication of any technology. Rather, it is to create a simple social sculpture, an electronic soapbox, a situation in which the art is shaped and determined by audience members themselves using everyday materials and techniques."
Kinda reminds us of "party lines" back in the '80s. Except you're standing in a room, listening. Or you're the person talking, not knowing if anyone hears. We like the simple and kind of retro sound of this, and we're curious to find out how it goes.
The exhibition starts Tuesday, March 22, and runs through April 5 in Space 204 in the E. Bronson Ingram Studio Art Center of the Vanderbilt University Art Department. Call 615-343-7000 anytime during those dates and rant to your heart's content. Maybe something magical will happen.
And if you happen to be in Nashville, attend the exhibition opening and reception Tuesday, March 22, 4-6 pm.