This was my main piece for the main Degree Show. I’d been undecided for a while about just what to put forward, however the lure of something interactive made this piece a cert.
The original idea called for a 1930’s telephone similar to the Dali Lobster Telephone. Without of course the Lobster. This was to be on the other end, or at least a voice declaring “This Is Not A Lobster” (I even considered the noise of a lobster, but)
Stumped by the little feedback I got from my proposal I ploughed on. However it was obvious that the “I am not a Lobster” in either French or English was too much of an art joke for me. If your Mum doesn’t get it, is it really art? No that’s not what swayed me, but it summarises the feeling well. How could a telephone be such a problem?!
Without going through all the why’s and wherefore’s etc. I arrived at mixing my Dali with Joseph Beuys now, instead of Magritte. I’d never been too fussed on the fat and felt man to be honest, well not until I’d delved further a got into his performance work. Now this of course interests me, ur:performance being testament to that. Anyway, I digress. Why not lift the receiver to hear me explaining this art and art in general as it appertains to this work, to my dog. With of course my dog whining and yelping in the background. In apparent pain and or distress at my musings. (Now this of course should not be taken too seriously, whilst it is not meant to be hilarious it certainly isn’t meant to be properly referenced with a bibliography etc. (My head of year in assessment wrote of it, “an ‘in a nutshell’ lecture on the avant grade in which there are too many misunderstandings”).
So how did it go?
Due to complications the university placed name tags next to people’s work. Not title, no nothing, not even the picture they had us have taken. So the hint that “audio” was part of the work got missed. I so nearly printed my own tag out as well as it was re tagging some other works we had around. But I was respectful. Why oh Why? Well I regret it now anyway.
However without the hint, and without me standing next to the piece, what happened. it seems those within art, who would be around art and be in galleries wouldn’t break the gallery norm of touching the art. I’d been interested in this notion right at the beginning of the work, but had put it to the back of my mind. Those you’d think not around galleries a lot of the time, well straight in and picking it up. Now this is by no means scientific, it’s not like I asked each person their gallery history.
But alas all was not well. My phone gave up the ghost. Well a wire needed re-wiring. I am not sure why but one wire just stopped working, it wasn’t cut, it didn’t get pulled out. I just re-cut the wires the next day and it worked. A mystery. I’d not know how to solve such a problem in the future, maybe not use 1930’s wire?
So what is to become of Lobster Thephone?