"There is no telephone art"(
Gregory Battock in New Artists Video, E.P. Dutton,1978)
"In 1973, Jim Pallas began working with the idea of
audio works that were played to whomever Pallas chose to call, and they
were, as he explained"...grounded in the premise that the ringing of a
telephone bell elicits a state of focused attention in most Americans.
The called person is ready for a communication whose content may be
The person has no reasonable expectations: the situation is out of
control." From this idea came another, the
which consists of a number one can call to get a PhoneyVent. This idea
was more appealiing to Pallas in that the DialeyVents were less
in nature and more convenient to the artists who composed them and to
The question of "phone art" is an interesting one. Were there were no
activities before the late 1970's that one could call "phone art"? When
was the telephone answering machine invented? When did it come into
Excerpt from an article
by Tom Bloomer, The
Detroit Artists Monthly, p. 17, January, 1979.
People have always been imaginative with their answering
John Giorno had a "Dial-a-Poet" service sometime during the 1970's.
The Detroit Institute of Arts commissioned Pallas to produce CAR-PHONE
a series of Dialevents for "Automobile and
Culture - Detroit Style", in 1985.
One of the earliest and best examples of phone art are the 1979 "Telephone Stories" of
Marshall Kriegman (aka Klugman)
Here's a link to the current activities of a British art group called The
Disembodied Art Gallery. You will find here a brief
their past activities, their aims, and also details about their latest
(A Telesymphony) by Golan Levin. A performance at
Ars Electronica 2001
Design/Info Art links is Stephen Wilson's comprehensive links
arts sites, including phone, telecomminication and other electronic
917: A code without an Area.
Rubin's New York cell phone project
a collection of numbers, stories and events involving public payphones.
If you have any ideas, information or stories about early
(or phone art of any time), please
Pallas home page
Comments and Questions
possible by support from
Detroit Art Works
Janet Roos 2001