Telephone 21

Signals. Noise. Connection.

Telephone 21 was a collaboration between 11+ artists, with loose direction from Sara Jinks. The project was inspired by a similar 2012 version (12 x 12 x 12) lead by fellow Telephone 21 participant Baylie Peplow. Both were modeled after the game of Telephone from childhood, where one kid whispers a word, then some version of it gets repeated to the next kid, and on and on until the ever-evolving word has traveled around the entire circle and become something entirely new.

For Telephone 21, each artist created and titled an original piece of their own design. They then passed a digital version of it to the next person on the list. That song, drawing, dance, photo, piece of writing, etc. in turn served as a prompt to the receiving artist, who then had two weeks to create a response piece. This pattern continued for almost 4 months, culminating in 11 separate series made up of 11 different pieces. Each participating artist contributed one piece per series.

The rules were loose for this particular game. Some artists were very strict about taking cues only from the prompt directly before. Other artists received their prompt, but also drew inspiration from prior entries, or even from the series’ title. There were no parameters around medium or length or interpretation. It was strictly an exercise with deadlines to safely keep an amazing group of artists inspired, active, and in community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

My first Telephone 21 creation was a blog post, Stand By Me. Two of my other contributions were short videos, Sunshine for Breakfast and How to Bow (from Fear & Inspiration) and one was a recording, Flying Wishes (from Falsifi Finché Non Ce La Fai). Please check out the Telephone 21 website to see the works in context with their original series, alongside the works of my fellow artists. I was pretty strict about taking my inspirations only from the title of the series and the work that immediately preceded mine in sequence.

Memento Mori
Four Noble Truths (from Pleasure to Serve You)
Madre Tierra (from MdlV)
Wings of Desire (from All Souls Gaze Upward Forever)