Called and calling

Connecting through the intimacy of a phonecall 


Conversation on a mobile device, a fixed line or via mobile app. Through the phone call a listener experiences the sonic in various ways - a recorded sound or a live interaction where the receiver is passive or alive, participative interaction where the receiver responds to instructions for actual actions. There is an excitement in receiving a call to your own phone, experiencing a new voice and imagining the person behind the voice. As with any phone call, it might not be possible to ascertain for certain whether or not the person on the other end is who they are, where they say they are, or even perhaps if they are human or actually present. 

#participation #tools #illusionofpresence



At what point does an audience become responsible for the work; how it unfolds or turns out? 

Is there a risk they do not realise this point arrives? Where might confusion arise? 

What conventions pre-suppose a lack of responsibility from a paying public? 

In what ways can you be responsible for something you 'witness'? 


Samara Hersch

A long distance conversation about love, birth, soap operas and missed calls.

For the past three years Samara has been living and studying in Amsterdam. During this time, she was often on the phone with her cousin Zac, back in Australia.

“Call me anytime you want”, is a phrase he’d often say to her as they’d hang up the phone.

Since lock down they have been speaking every night at 10pm.

These phone calls last no more than 3 minutes and always end with the promise of another call, the next night.

The short, serial nature of the calls started to feel like a soap opera, a genre that Zac is very familiar with. Every day at 4:30pm he watches the American soap opera, Bold and the Beautiful. He even quit a job at a salad bar because he couldn’t get home in time for 4:30pm.

Samara’s practice explores conversation as performance and performance as conversation. She is particularly interested in ways to stage absence and in exploring notions of presence, of remote performance and of the tension between distance and intimacy. Call Me Anytime You Want is a conversation about being together, across physical and emotional distances and is an attempt to fantasize about all the things the future may or may not provide.


When does SWG mean responsibility and a certain level of engagement being shared equally among artist, host and spectator for the work to happen?

Compagnie du Théâtrophoneéâtrophone

The origin of the théâtrophone can be traced to a telephonic transmission system demonstrated by Clément Ader at the 1881 International Exposition of Electricity in Paris. The system was inaugurated by the French President Jules Grévy, and allowed broadcasting of concerts or plays. Ader had arranged 80 telephone transmitters across the front of a stage to create a form of binaural stereophonic sound. It was the first two-channel audio system, and consisted of a series of telephone transmitters connected from the stage of the Paris Opera to a suite of rooms at the Paris Electrical Exhibition, where the visitors could hear Comédie-Française and opera performances in stereo using two headphones; the Opera was located more than two kilometers away from the venue. In a note dated 11 November 1881, Victor Hugo describes his first experience of théâtrophone as pleasant.

In 1884, the King Luís I of Portugal decided to use the system, when he could not attend an opera in person. The director of the Edison Gower Bell Company, who was responsible for this théâtrophone installation, was later awarded the Military Order of Christ.

The théâtrophone technology was made available in Belgium in 1884, and in Lisbon in 1885. In Sweden, the first telephone transmission of an opera performance took place in Stockholm in May 1887. 

#acousmatic #earlyforms